Pracha Rath corruption allegation investigated in response to video

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation–30292667.html


AN INVESTIGATION of Nakhon Si Thammarat’s Sichon district chief Wachira Pandusa and Cha-uat district chief Pithak Boripit will conclude in 30 days after the pair’s transfer order on Tuesday, Interior Minister General Anupong Paojinda said yesterday.

Further disciplinary action and criminal charges are possible, he added.

Anupong said reporters should not conclude that the action was a result of the Interior Ministry or prime minister’s order because the investigation is standard for the Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA) chief and provincial governor in cases involving allegations of corruption.

DOPA chief Arthit Boounyasophat issued the transfer order in response to a video clip circulating on social media in which Tambon Khao Noi headman Samphan Khondee prostrated himself before Wachira during an early July meeting of local officials and reportedly requested an end to alleged systematic “commission taking” – which is widely understood as bribery – in Pracha Rath projects.

The Pracha Rath, or “state of the people”, initiative is meant to boost local economies.

Media reports have referred to a secretive formula know as the “8-10-15 per cent” system for the alleged distribution of bribes.

The allegations have been directed against Wachira, but Pithak was also transferred because he is Wachira’s predecessor who held the same position six months ago.

Commentators have commented that the investigation could be an opportunity to generally review Pracha Rath projects, as well as projects involved in the distribution of Bt5 million to each tambon scheme, for irregularities or corruption.

A provincial official who asked not to be named said people have become more aware of corruption and are demanding more transparency, spurring central government policymakers to investigate projects in Nakhon Si Thammarat.

The official said the districts of Thung Yai, Tham Pannara, Chu-uat, Pak Phanang, Hua Sai and Ron Pibun districts have “interesting budget spending details”, adding that investigations may be pending in many districts involving procurement projects worth nearly Bt10 million.

Another source reported that Army officers are also investigating Pracha Rath projects and the Bt5-million tambon scheme in the province.

The Sichon district office was quiet yesterday with officials careful about commenting to the media while village headman Samphan was reportedly experiencing stress because of the media attention.

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