Pheu Thai queries Chinese firm’s role in submarine engine replacement
Opposition Pheu Thai Party brought up the issue of Thailand’s acquisition of submarines from China again on Sunday by claiming it was suspicious and lacked transparency.
The party’s deputy leader Yuttapong Charasathien said the first submarine acquired for 12.42 billion baht was already facing problems with its engine and that the China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Company (CSOC) was allegedly acquiring a new engine from other Chinese companies. CSOC claims to have been authorised by the Chinese government to do this.
Yuttapong pointed out that China does not produce submarine engines, while German engine manufacturer MTU Friedrichshafen had rejected CSOC’s request.
“Hence, I will write to the PM and Navy chief to not change the engine as it will put the users in danger,” he said.
Yuttapong also said that CSOC is not a representative of the Chinese government, but is actually a brokerage company. He also clamed that the project manager and three CSOC executives who had shown up to oversee the construction of the submarine wharf were questionable because they had arrived in Thailand as Chinese-language teachers. He backed this claim with information from the Department of Employment.
“Also, there is no progress on the construction even though they have received 15 per cent of the budget,” he said, urging the premier and Navy chief to look into this issue.
He added that Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan should be held responsible for this issue because CSOC had connections with Anat Amnueypol from Nutpol Co Ltd. The company had donated 2 million baht to Prawit’s Five Provinces Bordering Forest Preservation Foundation.
"Meanwhile, Anat's son, Vorapote Amnueypol, also donated 5 million baht to the ruling Palang Pracharath Party," he added.