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Thursday, January 10, 2008

AoT to evict King Power from airport after contract breaches

Airports of Thailand (AoT) will take legal action to evict King Power from the commercial space it occupies at Suvarnabhumi airport.

AoT board spokesman Chirmsak Pinthong said the board's investigation committee headed by former national police chief Pol Gen Pratin Santiprabhob had confirmed that King Power Suvarnabhumi Co, a firm under King Power International Group, had acquired the commercial space contract from AoT without undergoing scrutiny required under the Public-Private Joint Venture Act. The law requires in-depth scrutiny of every state project worth a billion baht or more. King Power Suvarnabhumi operates other commercial areas at the new airport, while King Power Duty Free Co runs the duty-free shops.


The AoT committee alleged King Power Suvarnabhumi had concealed information to keep the official investment of the commercial space development below one billion baht, to avoid scrutiny under the Public-Private Joint Venture Act law.


The AoT board reached the resolution in its meeting in Chiang Rai on Tuesday.


Mr Chirmsak said the AoT would talk to the Office of the Attorney-General about the possibility of evicting King Power from Suvarnabhumi airport.


King Power Duty Free would also be evicted. The AoT board has accused it of acquiring its duty-free shops contract by evading the joint venture law in a similar fashion.


Any legal action must be filed by March or AoT could lose the right to expel King Power Duty Free Co under a one-year statute of limitations.


AoT will also demand compensation from the two King Power companies and urge the National Counter Corruption Commission to prosecute.


The AoT board also plans to terminate the contract of Thai Airports Ground Services Co (Tags) which operates the customs-free cargo zone at Suvarnabhumi airport.


The board claims Tags sets its service fees too high, and violated its contract by sub-leasing part of the zone to a restaurant operator.

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