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Thai government says it will probe wiretapping cases

Thai government says it will probe wiretapping cases

The Thai government has set up a panel to probe alleged wiretapping and eavesdropping, a top official said Thursday, a week after Thailand's army chief accused Singapore of spying on its military phone conversations.
Information Minister Sitthichai Pokaiyaudoom declined to say whether Singapore was a focus of the investigation.
The probe comes amid a mounting diplomatic feud between Singapore and Thailand.
Thailand's army commander, Gen. Sondhi Boonyaratkalin, said last week that military leaders feared Singapore was snooping on their conversations through a telecommunications company that deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra sold to Singapore owners last year.
Singapore has denied the accusation.
Sitthichai said that the probe was expected to take 60 days.
"It will investigate damage to the public related to telecommunications, including wiretapping and eavesdropping," he told reporters, declining to elaborate.
The minister's spokesman, Vissanu Meeyoo, contacted by telephone, said the government set up the panel in response to media reports of alleged wiretapping cases. He refused to confirm or deny any connection to Singapore.
But when asked if the panel would address concerns of eavesdropping on both private individuals and the military, he replied: "Everything."
Thailand-Singapore relations have declined since the January 2006 sale of a large stake in Shin Corp., Thailand's largest telecommunications company, while Thaksin was still in office.
Thaksin's family sold its majority stake in the company to the Singapore government's investment arm, Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd.
The deal sparked outrage in Thailand, with critics saying the Thaksin government had placed strategic assets, including telecommunications satellites, in foreigners' hands.
Diplomatic relations were strained when Thaksin visited Singapore earlier this month and met with the city-state's deputy prime minister.
Thailand called the meeting inappropriate, given Thaksin's ouster from the government, and suspended a visit by Singapore's foreign minister.
Singapore shrugged off Thaksin's visit as a private one between old friends.
Sondhi subsequently said he was concerned that the Singapore company was being used to spy on the military. He ordered members of the military leadership not to use mobile phones for confidential conversations susceptible to eavesdropping through the telecoms company.


Updated : 2021-05-14 19:50 GMT+08:00