Probe found 88 million baht has been embezzled from fund for poor students

The Ministry of Education has recently found out that over 88 million baht out of a total of 166 million baht being disbursed from the so-called Sema Pattana Chevit Fund supposedly for poor children had been embezzled by corrupt officials for themselves and their relatives for the past ten years.

Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin said that the corruption concerning the Fund for poor children was uncovered during the internal auditing of the 2017 budget for the Office of the Permanent Secretary of Education.

He said that the embezzlement of the Fund had been going on undetected since 2008, with about 88 million baht of the fund, including 12 million baht in 2017, being transferred into the bank accounts of relatives and friends of the corrupt officials instead of the bank accounts of the poor children.

Five officials, including a C8-level official, have been implicated in the embezzlement and one of them has already made confession, said the minister, adding that all the five have been moved out of their original offices.

Describing the offence as serious, the minister said that the official who confessed would face dismissal from the service and legal actions, adding that those who received the money from the corrupt officials would face legal actions as well.

The education permanent-secretary Karun Sakulpradit has been instructed by the education minister to file complaints with the police against the alleged corrupt officials and to prepare a report to be submitted to the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Anti-Money Laundering Office.

Mr Karun said officials concerned would check 19-20 bank accounts of the recipients of the fund to find out the figures of the fund being embezzled after which the matter would be forwarded to the Fund board for consideration.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)

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