Deputy Director-General of Intellectual Property Supat Sa-nguandeekul claimed he was under the influence of alcohol when stole three cheap paintings worth 15,000 yen from a hotel in Kyoto and said he would resign from government service to show his responsibility.

In a written statement released to the media on Tuesday, Mr Supat said he felt sorry for the incident which, he added, caused damage to the reputation of the Department of Intellectual Property, the Commerce Ministry, the country and the Thai people as a whole.

He then offered an apology to the minister of commerce, the permanent secretary and his colleagues in the Commerce Ministry and, more importantly, to the Thai people.

The embattled senior official said he had no intention to make any excuse and agreed to accept his guilty, but would like to have an opportunity to make a clarification about the incident.

He explained that, after having finished his assignment in Japan, he met with some old Japanese friends from the days they were in the university and had a lot of drinks together until he was so drunk that he unconsciously did something that he should not have done (stole three cheap all paintings in his hotel room).

Throughout the 33 years that I have been serving in the Commerce Ministry on various positions at home and abroad, I have not done anything damaging to the service. I have the intention to serve in government service until my retirement with the ministry I love � which is the objective of almost every official. But because of the damaging incident, I have to show my responsibility toward may own deed in accordance with the norm in Japanese society where I had studied. To quit from my post is, therefore, a demonstration of responsibility that I should observe. I will tender my resignation formally, said Mr Supat in his statement.

He also said that he was willing to any disciplinary action against him and would cooperate in the investigation of the case.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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