In a One Channel News interview, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said that Phitcha-on (formerly Jarinya) Kiatlaphanachai, the former Director of TAT’s New York office, and Monthira Prakhongphan, the office’s former Deputy Director, have been found guilty of using stolen documents to claim unwarranted reimbursements.
The TAT main office in Bangkok.
According to the news report, Phitcha-on and Monthira were fired from their posts on 7 September. The case is now under appeal.
In August 2020, Suteera Nagavajara and Pitsara Lumpukdee, Thai residents in the United States filed complaints with local police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) against the two officers for identity theft.
In 2019, Suteera was hired to perform a dance at an event in Washington D.C. In March, she gave TAT a copy of her driving license as documentation for payment purposes.
She later learned that this copy was used by Phitcha-on to claim reimbursement for a 4,000 USD car rental and driver service in Massachusetts in August 2019. Suteera has documents to prove she was in Thailand at the time.
In Pisara’s case, she submitted a copy of her green card in support of support a job application at TAT. The document was later used by Monthira to claim reimbursement for the cost of ‘event organising’ in Boston in February 2019, when Pisara was in Thailand.
Suteera filed complaints with the TAT headquarters in Bangkok and the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) but received no formal investigation result from them.
Prachatai earlier submitted a letter of inquiry to the TAT Governor, asking for an update on Suteera’s petition but received no response, despite several follow-up attempts.