Former Thai Official Resigns Following Bff Kick-back Charges
Following FBI accusations Tuesday that she accepted $1.7 million in kickbacks from the U.S. couple who staged the Bangkok Film Festival (BFF) for four years, Juthamas Siriwan abruptly resigned today (Thursday) as deputy leader of the Puea Pandin Party, the Bangkok Post reported on its website. On Wednesday she also withdrew her candidacy in next week's elections for a seat in Thailand's parliament. "Juthamas has resigned in a show of responsibility," said Puea Pandin party spokesman Wachiramon Kanakasemthanawat. "Her resignation will facilitate a transparent investigation into her case." Juthamas had previously served as head of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the government agency responsible for the BFF. Her resignation comes on the heels of reports that the FBI had arrested Gerald and Patricia Green on charges of violating the corrupt practices act by bribing Juthamas in order to receive the lucrative contract to manage the film festival. Juthamas has denied the charges.