Thai PM Calls Cabinet Member’s Past Drug Smuggling a ‘Small Issue’

by Admin on September 11, 2019

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Thailand’s Prime Minister recently defended a key member of his cabinet’s past conviction for conspiring to traffick drugs into Australia, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.

When asked about the past conviction of minister Thammanat Prompao, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha called it a “small issue” before quickly changing the subject.

Before being sworn in as a cabinet minister in Thailand’s new government, Thammanat had claimed that he had only committed a “minor offense” in Australia while living there for four years in the 1990s.

Multiple Aussie newspapers discovered, however, that Thammanat pled guilty to a conspiracy to traffick a large amount of heroin into Australia in 1993.

He was given a six-year prison sentence, of which he served four before being released and deported.

A drug conviction inside Thailand would have disqualified Thammanat from serving as a cabinet member, but since the crime occurred in Australia, the conviction doesn’t fall under the ban.

Despite PM Prayut’s statement that Thammanat’s past drug trafficking record was a “small issue”, drug crimes in Thailand remain heavily punishable offenses that can result in dozens of years spent in prison or, in rare cases, even the death penalty.

Read the full story here.

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