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‘Overwhelmed’ PACC detects graft at 5 more welfare centres

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‘Overwhelmed’ PACC detects graft at 5 more welfare centres

By THE NATION

 

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File photo

 

ALLEGED IRREGULARITIES have been found at five more provincial protection centres for the destitute, bringing the total number of scandal-tainted centres to 49, with estimated total damages of Bt104 million, Public Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) secretary-general Korntip Daroj said yesterday.

 

Amid the spiralling graft scandal involving welfare centres across the country, Korntip also said that his commission was “overwhelmed” by the work load.

 

The five provincial centres recently identified are in Si Sa Ket, Khamphaeng Phet, Phang Nga, Sakon Nakhon and Chanthaburi.

 

The PACC board has also set up sub-panels to investigate seven centres for possible criminal prosecution of officials, with more centres to come under scrutiny this week, he said. 

 

Alleged wrongdoing at the five centres were similar to other cases discovered, with low-income earners and destitute people not receiving their entitled allowances in the full amount, while the names of people who were not qualified for allowances had been used in forged documents, Korntip said.

 

Regarding similar alleged graft at 32 self-help settlement centres nationwide, the PACC has found evidence at four centres indicating wrongdoing allegedly committed by high-ranking officials, Korntip said. 

 

Udon Thani’s Chiang Pin (with Bt7 million), Udon Thani’s Huai Sang (Bt5 million), Khon Kaen’s Ubolrat Dam (Bt11.7 million) and Satun’s Southern Development (Bt10.9 million) centres were found to be involved with “rather frequent” fund disbursement to vocational groups, he said.

 

The PACC would forward the cases to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), which is authorised to investigate graft involving senior officials. The PACC would also ask the NACC to investigate other self-help settlement centres, as the PACC was overwhelmed, he said.

 

A trace of money transactions should be able to identify people who benefited from irregularities and embezzlement by the end of March, he said.

 

As for a separate inquiry into the Education Ministry’s “Sema Pattana Chevit Fund” for underprivileged children, Korntip said a report had been submitted and the PACC board would meet today to consider setting up a sub-panel to consider prosecutions.

 

In parallel to the PACC inquiry, the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security – which is in charge of 43 self-help settlements and 16 highland people’s development centres as well as 76 provincial protection centres for the destitute – has conducted its own fact-finding investigations for disciplinary action.

 

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam yesterday said the ministry’s investigation, which had led to the transfers of at least 22 officials, had found alleged graft at nearly 50 provincial protection centres for the destitute, in line with the PACC’s findings.

 

He said despite the corruption, projects to help underprivileged people should not be cancelled. Instead, allowances and fund disbursements should be shifted from cash payments to recipients to other channels such as PromptPay, he said.

 

PromptPay enables fund transfers using mobile phone numbers or citizen ID numbers. It can be used to receive payments from government agencies. 

 

Meanwhile, Social Development and Human Security Minister General Anantaporn yesterday led officials in taking an oath to be honest civil servants to advance the ministry’s strategies. The ritual was held at the ministry’s office at Phra Prachabodi Plaza in Bangkok.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30341279

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2018-03-20

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These figures are only the ones being admitted to.  The problem will be much deeper and more wide-ranging.  It can only have grown so big with the help of highly placed officials who will escape with their pile whilst lower ranks will be thrown to the dogs.

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59 minutes ago, jonclark said:

 

Shouldn't be surprised. Thailand is built on a social hierarchy - Those doing the thieving are the betters of those they are stealing from. And those being stolen from should be grateful for any crumbs which drop from the table. Even if the pie was meant for them! 

 

How often have do we see the phrases  "gift to the people", "return happiness to the people" used in political circles, to reinforce the view that the masses should be in admiration for the mercies and help bestowed by those from higher up the social ladder. 

Instead of worrying about returning happiness to the people, perhaps they should ask the Supreme Saviour to return their stolen money.

 

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4 hours ago, webfact said:

Korntip also said that his commission was “overwhelmed” by the work load.

I have a cunning plan. First, a quick trial for those already caught, followed by an instant public execution (the bailiff may fire when ready! ), no appeal, no bail, bang.

Next day send a BCC message to all welfare offices that investigators will be arriving at their office tomorrow. Send police to arrest anyone who doesn't show up for work.

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BANGKOK 21 April 2018 18:24
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