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Thai officials jailed for fire truck scam

Steyr-Daimler-Puch 12.13S21 Rosenbauer Fire Truck (1987) (Image courtesy of former officials in Thailand were sentenced to long jail terms for inflating the price the government paid to buy fire trucks and boats from an Austrian company.

Former deputy interior minister Pracha Maleenond was jailed 12 years and ex-Bangkok fire department chief Atirak Tanchookiet was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The court found that the officials colluded on a 2004 deal to buy 315 fire trucks and 30 fire boats from Steyr-Daimler-Puch Spezialfahrzeug.

The final price of the $208 million contract was inflated by at least 50%, the court said.

Three other defendants were acquitted for lack of evidence, including two former government ministers and a former Bangkok governor.

The Austrian company, Steyr-Daimler-Puch Spezialfahrzeug, has not been convicted in the criminal case. [See the reader’s comment below.]

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