overnment auditors have asked the Thai Boon Roong company to explain large
discrepancies between the amount of construction materials imported duty-free
and estimates of the amounts required to build the new Olympic market.
One Ministry official contacted by the Post said that it was likely that
Thai Boon Roong would be required to pay taxes plus penalties amounting to
"several million dollars," assuming that the company could not provide an
adequate explanation for the discrepancies.
The official scrutiny of Thai
Boon Roong's business practices is likely to bring added headaches to a company
that has been in the spotlight for the past three months.
After a close
examination of customs records, the Ministry of Economics and Finance has sent a
letter to Thai Boon Roong requesting "figures on the quantity and value of ...
materials such as cement, marble plates, solder, steel plates, steel, stone,
Mercedes cars."A response was requested by Feb 8.
In the absence of any
reply, the Ministry sent a second letter on Feb 18 citing the amounts of six
Referring to customs documents, the ministry said
that Thai Boon Roong had imported 22,900 tonnes of cement while estimates of the
amount required to build the market were between 1,500 and 2,000
For imported steel, the Ministry alleges that of the 6,100 tonnes
brought into the country only between 2,000 and 2,500 tonnes were needed for the
Olympic market. Concerning the importation of 1,200 square metres of marble
plating, the Ministry's letter notes that almost none was used in the market,
adding that marble is used primarily "to build villas, hotels or luxury
The Ministry also questions why six Mercedes cars were
imported duty free, why an excess of 34 tonnes of soldering material was needed
and the whereabouts 18 trucks brought in under the duty-free
The ministry's letter requested a response by Feb 21 although
none had been received from Thai Boon Roong by close of business Feb
The Ministry's inquiry comes on the heels of complaints by other
companies that markets for products such as cement and steel have become
uncompetitive as, having paid the proper duties for imported products, they
can't match prices with importers that skirt government tax collectors.