Thursday, June 17, 2021

in-focus

Government considering libel case against company over Sinopharm vaccine claims


The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DES) plans to sue Accap Assets for allegedly defaming the government over claims regarding the import of Sinopharm vaccine for Covid-19.

Recently, the company’s documents to the Chulabhorn Royal Academy were published online.

According to the papers, Accap Assets claimed that it could procure 20 million doses of Sinopharm vaccine and import them to Thailand within two weeks.

The company reportedly had alluded that it was denied meetings with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, so the company wanted to discuss the procurement with the royal academy instead.

The leak of the documents led to comments from social media users questioning the government’s vaccine management and casting aspersions on the probity of ministers.

In response to the papers, DES Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn said on Saturday that Accap Assets had not registered with the Food and Drug Administration for importing the Covid-19 vaccine. Moreover, the company is registered as a real estate business, hence it is not authorised to import medicine or related products.

Chaiwut’s ministry concluded that the papers were unreliable and the company should be sued for violation of the Computer Crime Act.

The minister added that those who criticised the government for under-the-table deals for vaccine procurement could face defamation charges or for spreading wrong information.

Published : May 29, 2021

By : The Nation