Arrest warrant issued for former Pattaya mayor Ittipol Khunpluem
The Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant for Ittipol Khunpluem, former Culture Minister and former mayor of Pattaya City, after he failed to report to the prosecutor following a court summons on Monday (September 4).
Ittipol is accused of abuse of power for issuing an illegal construction permit to Bali Hai Co Ltd to build a luxury condominium at the base of Phra Tamnak Mountain in Pattaya City, Chonburi province in 2008 during his tenure as mayor of Pattaya City.
On August 3, 2023, the Office of the Attorney General resolved to file charges against Ittipol and 9 others for taking part in the issuance of the permit and ordered them to report to the prosecutors on September 4.
The nine others are Phichet Uthaiwatthananont, Witthaya Sirinworachai, Yattiphong Intharat, Ekaphong Boonchai, Wutthisak Rermkijjakarn, Aphichart Phanpheut, Suthee Thabnonghee, Chanont Kerdyuu, and Chaiwat Jaengsawang.
After Ittipol, the former Culture Minister in the Prayut Chan-o-cha administration from 2019 to 2023, failed to show up on Monday, the court decided to issue arrest warrants against him and some of his alleged accomplices who also failed to show, as it was believed they would flee.
Born to a prominent political family in Chonburi, Ittipol, 49, served as the Mayor of Pattaya City from 2008 to 2016. His late father, Somchai, better known as Kamnan Poh, was a local politician who was dubbed the “Godfather of Chonburi” due to his high influence in the eastern province.