Thai authorities issue more arrest warrants in hospital gloves scandal

Thai authorities issued six more arrest warrants on Monday over a scam involving hospital medical gloves, which has caused millions of dollars in losses at two Thai hospitals in recent months.

In November, CNN published a report that said the Royal Central Hospital had used counterfeit medical goods that cost patients up to 11 times more than genuine ones. The hospital’s head of quality assurance told CNN that more than 25 million medical items worth at least $24 million were being used to treat patients there.

CNN revealed that hospitals in Thailand’s northeast, both owned by the same hospital, had both ended up serving as fronts for the counterfeit medical imports. The fake medical goods were exported to hospitals in the United States, Europe and Asia using the hospitals’ name and address.

As CNN reported, neither the government nor the head of the Royal Central Hospital had ever inspected any of the extra goods that were being imported by the other hospital, which helped fuel the fraud.

According to an arrest warrant published on Sunday, Thai authorities are looking for Lam Joonnamin, a former Thai pharmacist and failed veterinarian, who allegedly designed a “complete system” for the hospital to use counterfeit medical goods. Lam was charged last month with fraud and criminal conspiracy.

The arrest warrants also list an official of the Royal Central Hospital, a nursing home owner, a businessman, a radiographer and a former health ministry official who are suspected of working with Lam to import fake medical goods.

An interim leader of the Royal Central Hospital in Kanchanaburi province also appeared in court Sunday over his role in the scandal. As reported by the Associated Press, Thichaya Pangbumawong, interim chairman of the hospital board, was charged with unapproved business activities under the Computer Crime Act.

Leave a Comment