Airline Chairman Sentenced To Prison For Failing To Pay Checked Baggage Fees

In countries with high corruption, powerful people are often accused of being corrupt when they lose power or fall out of favor. There’s almost always some element of truth to the charges, but those charges are used as a way for whomever is currently in power to go after their predecessors.

Decades of corruption is one of the reasons Thai Airways was teetering on bankruptcy, even before the Covid-19 pandemic.

However the airline’s former Chairman is just now receiving a two year sentence for activities dating to 2009: he abused his authority by not paying overweight bag fees on a trip home from Japan.

Wallop, while chairman of the board in 2009, was found to have abused his authority in ordering airline staff to change the stated weight of his luggage so he could evade charges for the excess [300 kg].

After an investigation he paid the bag fees – in 2010 – and lost his position. A decade ago. He also stood accused, by the way of “accepting gifts..from a private firm” worth $99.

Very few things in Thailand actually happen for the reasons that are stated. For instance, Thailand’s Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej was forced to resign by the country’s constitutional court for hosting cooking shows after he assumed office. Government ministers aren’t permitted to hold outside employment, and Samak accepted about $350 in reimbursement for transportation and ingredients.

The tradition of calling one’s predecessor corrupt, and prosecuting them, is a hallmark of banana republics and why, by the way, I do not favor a Biden Department of Justice pursuing any sort of charges against President Trump (if the current President does not issue himself a pardon).

(HT: Loyalty Lobby)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. there is a difference between trumped-up nonsense (no pun intended) and an actual case that can stand up in court.
    I think in the US the legal system is solid and independent enough that no conviction for corruption would be possible against a former President without some pretty solid, ironclad evidence.
    The Ukraine thing probably isn’t enough, since while it was a revolting abuse of power, it is not easy to make a criminal case out of it. The firing of Comey was I think obstruction of justice, but it is hard to prove, since there can be many reasons why somebody is fired, so how do you prove he was fired specifically for not stopping the Russia inquiry? The violation of the emoluments clause and the hosting of foreign dignitaries at Trump hotels, all of this graft and nepotism, was against the law, but can it result in a jail sentence? More likely only a fine or probation, if that. The tax cases under investigation in the state of New York will likely just result in penalty payments, no criminal charges – it would need to be tax fraud on a pretty large scale for them to bring criminal charges. I don’t really see, based on what we’ve seen so far, that a criminal conviction is likely — but, it is imperative that cases be pursued to wherever they lead. If the evidence would theoretically be enough for a criminal conviction, then it should be sought.
    Corruption in the United States is rampant. Letting politicians get off easy hasn’t really been working out. During the past 30 years, there have been only slaps on the wrist whenever Presidents and other high-ranking politicians committed crimes. (Watergate, Iran-Contra, Bill lying under oath, Plamegate – somehow there is always a way out for the President, or some patsy to take the fall).

  2. Anti-Trumpers are so pathetic. The only reason Biden shouldn’t be pursuing Trump for corruption is because he wasn’t guilty of any corruption. Despite your deranged 4-year long, no holds barred “investigations” and attempts at finding/inventing some and claiming without any evidence that there was. Ukraine phone call? Holy cow, Biden is literally on video proudly boasting about withholding funds from Ukraine until they fired a prosecutor zeroing in on his son’s corruption! But Trump. The Left’s hypocrisy knows know bounds. smh.
    And please take note that when a dem wins a presidential election, no cities are burned down or looted or the media doesn’t have a complete meltdown. Because that’s only the Left that throws those sorts of childish tantrums when they don’t get their way. I would say grow up and learn from the Right, but that’ll never happen. The next time you guys lose an election, the nation will burn again. It’s just what you all do. Because you’re the Party of intolerance, my way or the highway mentality. Good luck finding your next Trump to demonize and blame all your problems on.

  3. Are you saying once someone is elected president he/she is allowed to flout the law without consequences?

  4. Pro Trumpers are so pathetic. They don’t see how Trump used his presidency to make sure his own hotels got business.
    But then they also support that Cheeto faced twerp when he shouted “lock him/her up”.
    Shouldn’t the brave hearts that they are be ok with the same think happening to their Dear Leader as he wished upon others.
    Snowflakes these Pro Trump Mag(a)gots

  5. The best 747always can do is make fun of Trump’s skin color and say trump made money off his hotels. Your comment is laughable. The Democrats need to do a little research into Hunter Biden because we know the media won’t report anything that makes a democrat look bad. How did Hunter manage to be on the Burisma board and make millions off Ukraine? He admitted to not knowing anything about energy. Are people really ignorant enough to think China and Ukraine were not paying Hunter for favors from Joe?

  6. Tax fraud, stealing from charities, dividing the country, fake university, constant lying, obstruction of justice, padding his expense wallet, etc., and total incompetence are minor enough for Trump to get away with in this country. He will probably get a pardon.
    What he can’t avoid is the legacy title of worst President in history.

    (Has he admitted he lost yet?)

  7. It is not a Red/Blue thing for me. Trump is simply a terrible person. If you do not see it, god help you. Biden sucks too, bad choices for sure… but good riddance! Trump is fired!

  8. I’ve been waiting for a single comment that mentions Thailand. Can’t you folks just give it a rest, already?

  9. 300 kilos?? What’s he got in those suitcases?

    Thankfully that was likely on an aircraft where that fake number wouldn’t severely impact the weight and balance calculations.

  10. Gary,
    Please stick to travel related news. Your flights into political commentary are not warranted, nor wanted.

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