Department of Intellectual Property deputy director-general Suphat Sa-nguandeekul has agreed to pay fines to a hotel in Kyoto for three paintings he arbitrarily took from the hotel upon departure and he is expected to be freed and to return to Thailand soon, according to a latest report from the Commerce Ministry.

However, commerce permanent secretary Ms Vibullak Ruamrak said Wednesday that the department must form a fact-finding panel to investigate the case in accordance with the ministry's regulation.

She said that the ministry would have to wait for an official report from Japanese authorities first before any punitive action could be taken against the official in question. But at this stage, she said he should be given fair treatment.

Ms Vibullak said she didn't think the case would taint the reputation of the Commerce Ministry of the Department of Intellectual Property because it was a personal matter and the incident took place beyond office hours.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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