Remember the figure : 66.
66 people were killed in the Santika Pub blaze, one month ago.
Now, read this article, in silence. And then, if you still had any doubt, you’ll understand. You’ll understand why the country faces so many problems.
The Santika pub never paid excise tax because inspectors ruled there was no alcohol or dancing on the premises, an anti-corruption agency says.
The Excise Department told the Commission for the Prevention and Suppression of Corruption in the State Sector its officers had just carried out one inspection during the five years the pub was in operation.
The commission has been examining the Excise Department for failing to collect 20 million baht in excise taxes from the pub in the five years before it burned down just after midnight on New Year’s Day, leaving 66 people dead and hundreds injured.
Commission secretary-general Tharit Pengdit said the Justice Ministry’s investigators found the pub operator, White and Brothers 2003 Co, had never paid the 10% excise tax on its gross revenue.
The Santika pub was required to pay excise tax as it opened as an entertainment venue with a dance floor and served alcoholic drinks, the commission said.
Mr Tharit said his agency had asked the Excise Department why it failed to collect taxes from White and Brothers.
The Excise Department claimed it did not collect the tax because the company had informed the department Santika was a restaurant without any dancing activities and did not serve alcohol.
The Excise Department said its inspectors went to the pub one evening and found no one drinking or dancing, Mr Tharit said.
He said only one inspection was carried out in five years and the alleged oversight had caused the state considerable tax revenue losses. (Bangkok Post)
The shareholders were already involded, the police was already involved (read here, police officers bought shares of the pub and then… controls stopped). Then the Excise Department… Then who ?