Thailand’s Supreme Court Criminal Division for Political Office Holders will announced the verdict on 25th August in a criminal case involving former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom on alleged fake government-to-government rice deals. The cases were filed against 28 defendants, including former ministers in the Yingluck government and private companies. Boonsong along with former deputy commerce minister Poom Sarapol and three other former senior commerce ministry officials have been held responsible for alleged bogus deals between the Thai and Chinese governments, for the sale of Thai rice during the Yingluck Shinawatra government’s tenure.
The Yingluck government executed the country’s biggest ever rice-pledging scheme, which resulted in an estimated loss to the state of over Bt500 billion, to buy an unlimited quantity of rice from farmers at Bt15,000 per tonne, compared to the then-prevailing market price of Bt7,000 to 8,000 per tonne. Fake rice deals were then used to show that the government was able to export a significant amount of rice to reduce its financial burden. However it was later found, that the deals were in fact domestic rice transactions carried out by Siam Indiga and other private firms.