Anti-graft officials investigating alleged plundering of fund for destitute people have unearthed evidence of corruption in 14 out of 37 centres for the protection of the destitute.
Pol Lt-Col Wannop Somchintanakul, assistant secretary-general of the Public Section Anti-Corruption Commission, said Tuesday that evidence of corruption was found at the centres in Sa Kaew and Roi-et in addition to centres in 12 other provinces, including Khon Kaen, Chiang Mai, Bung Karn, Surat Thani, Trat, Saraburi, Ayutthaya, Udon Thani, Nan, Krabi and Trang which were already implicated in corrupt practice.
He disclosed that, in some areas, PACC officials had to grill witnesses twice because it was reported that officials of the centres had visited them and gave them the full amount of handouts � 2,000 baht each � so they would change their testimonies.
He, however, noted that even if the destitute people were given the full amount of handouts afterward, the implicated officials would still face legal and disciplinary actions because they had already committed the offence of corruption.
Pol Lt-Con Wannop further said that the cheating trick was almost the same in all the centres where corrupt practice was uncovered: the corrupt officials would get hold of copies of ID cards from any people who are not destitute people and would give them cash handouts below the 2,000-baht full amount which was specified in the receipts signed by the imposters or signed by staff in the centres.
He cited the case of 15 territorial defence volunteers who used to assist work at the centre in Trat province and who were demanded to leave copies of their ID cards with officials of the centre. Their ID card copies were used to claim handouts from the centre despite the fact that they were not destitute people.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)