To Give and Not Receive?

When a bribe is paid, someone must pay that bribe, and someone must receive that bribe.  One cannot occur without the other.

On 14 September 2009, Gerald Green and his wife, Patricia Green, were convicted in a U.S. Federal Court of bribing the former governor general of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Juthamas Siriwan, to get lucrative film festival contracts as well as other TAT contracts.  They were convicted of, among other things, violating the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) for paying kickbacks to Juthamas Siriwan.  According to the FCPA Blogsite:

the Greens paid approximately $1.8 million in bribes to the former governor through numerous bank accounts in Singapore, the United Kingdom and the Isle of Jersey in the name of the former governor’s daughter and a friend of the former governor. The Greens received contracts that generated more than $13.5 million in revenue to their businesses.

The FBI affidavit filed in support of the initial charges against the Greens provided a detailed list of the payments.  One would think that the FBI would not provide such a detailed list unless they were sure of their evidence and, sure enough, the Greens were convicted after just a few hours (not days) of deliberations.  Sounds like rock solid evidence that bribes were paid, doesn’t it?

Although the FCPA does not apply to a foreign official who receives a bribe (unless they commit an act within the U.S.), the U.S. indicted Juthamas Siriwan on related charges of money laundering and other alleged crimes.  A copy of the indictment can be downloaded here: (  The U.S. government typically doesn’t go after foreign officials, but they did here.

So what is happening in Thailand to the foriegn official who is alleged to have received US$1.8 million in bribes?   Well, there were news reports that she was threatening to file criminal defamation charges (surprise!) against anyone who claims she received bribes.  (We make no such claim.)  So what are the Thai authorities doing?  According to today’s Bangkok Post:

Methee Krongkaew, the person in charge of the subcommittee, said his panel would forward its findings to the main NACC committee if Ms Juthamas failed to show up to defend herself. The main committee would then decide whether to submit the case to the public prosecutor for indictment.

Anything else?  Well she presumably isn’t planning any holidays in the U.S. in the near future.  

She might want to reconsider holiday plans outside of Thailand altogether.  The U.S. has a tradition of aggressively seeking the extradition of federal fugitives, as anyone who has read a paper in Thailand over the past few weeks will know from the Victor Bout case.  But what they may not know is that U.S. authorities also seek extradition of alleged white collar criminals – even when they are foreign nationals – from foreign countries.   And they can be downright tenacious about it, turning up where you would not expect them.

In one case, a foreigner flying to Australia was detained before he officially entered the country, and forced to leave, in the company of several U.S. law enforcement officials, on the next flight to the U.S. (they were obviously trailing him on his flight to Australia).  So a vacation in Australia is probably not a good idea either.  Where else?  Hong Kong? Singapore? No idea.  And we wouldn’t say even if we had one.

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  • Farangman  On November 25, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Wonderful blog! Insightful and well written. Keep it up!

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