THG Offers Details On Failed Vaccine Deal As Complaint Lodged With Cyber Crime Bureau

THG chairman Boon Vanasin
THG chairman Boon Vanasin

Thonburi Healthcare Group (THG) sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to offer a preliminary explanation about a reported deal with the Defence Ministry to import the Pfizer vaccine.

In its letter, THG said it did not release information about a deal with the Defence Ministry to cooperate over vaccine procurement as reported by some local media. However, the company confirmed that it did sign an agreement with state agencies authorised to import vaccines.

The agreement would be made available to the SEC.

THG said it did not use cash or a loan or any company assets to make a deposit for vaccine purchase or pay a fine for a contractual violation.

THG also said it did not give up on its attempts to procure vaccines but it was unable to say how many vaccines could be purchased and when.

According to THG, the company would submit a further clarification as required by the SEC.

Meanwhile, Atchariya Ruangrattanapong, chairman of the Crime Victims Assistance Club, yesterday lodged a complaint with Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB) against THG chairman Boon Vanasin over his controversial COVID-19 vaccine deal.

The move came after Dr Vanasin admitted in a media interview on Wednesday that his attempt to strike a deal to secure 20 million doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine was likely to collapse.

The doctor claimed the efforts were unlikely to succeed since three months had now passed and he had forfeited two deposits put down for the vaccine purchases.

Mr Ruangrattanapong said Dr Vanasin’s comments about the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine deal were deemed to be fake news because while the doctor claimed he was negotiating to buy from the manufacturer, he was unable to give details about the deal.

Dr Vanasin also claimed that he worked with state agencies with the authority to import the vaccine but they all denied any involvement, Mr Ruangrattanapong said.

Moreover, the vaccine manufacturer strongly denied it was in talks with THG or Dr Boon, he said.

Mr Ruangrattanapong accused Dr Vanasin of making fake news to manipulate THG’s shares, pointing out the share prices rose 13% before they dropped after Dr Vanasin admitted the deal was unlikely to succeed. He also submitted as evidence audio clips, media interviews and details showing the movement of THG shares.

Pol Lt Gen Kornchai Khlaikhlueng, CCIB commissioner, said the complaint was accepted for an initial investigation to determine if Dr Vanasin had violated any laws.

He said it was premature to conclude that the vaccine deal was fake news and police would have to further examine any claims.