THE PAVILIONS PHUKET EPL Prediction Competition 2018-2019 Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Fund scandal nets top official

BANGKOK: A senior official at the centre of a large-scale embezzlement scandal involving an Education Ministry foundation aimed at supporting the education of girls from poor families has been sacked after reportedly admitting to her role in the crime.

crimecorruptionculturepoliticspolice
By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 27 March 2018, 09:07AM


Rojana Sinthi: Confessed to embezzlement of B88mn. Photo: via Bangkok Post

Rojana Sinthi: Confessed to embezzlement of B88mn. Photo: via Bangkok Post

Karun Sakulpradit, the permanent secretary of education, yesterday (Mar 26) announced the immediate dismissal of Rojana Sinthi, a senior planning and policy analysis specialist attached to the ministry.

She is to be investigated by the ministry, the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo), the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), the Technology Crime Suppression Division and Don Muang police.

Yesterday, the ministry held a meeting to determine what disciplinary action should be taken against Rojana.

After more than two hours of discussion, the seven-member meeting decided unanimously to dismiss her and cancel her pension.

This is the most severe form of disciplinary punishment meted out against a state official to date.

The PACC also said it suspects Rojana did not act alone.

The commission is focusing on figures higher up the food chain to check if they were involved.

A ministry source said Rojana was fired without being investigated by a disciplinary panel because she admitted to the wrongdoing to her superiors and that the crime was apparent.

Mr Karun said evidence gathered by the authorities showed Rojana, who previously supervised the Sema Phatthana Chiwit Fund, had allegedly siphoned off at least B100 million from the fund and had transferred the money to 22 bank accounts of relatives and friends since 2007.

It was reported last week that Rojana had a hand in embezzling B88mn from the fund during the period specified by Mr Karun.

The figure was based on a trove of documents, including what are believed to be forged receipts, that were seized from Rojana’s home in Don Muang district during a raid last week.

On Sunday (Mar 25), the ministry said a further B30mn was missing from the fund.

A source there said they suspected at least part of the money may have been taken by Rojana but that the matter required further investigation.

Each year the fund receives a budget of between B10mn and B30mn.

The ministry determined that the sacked official had broken state regulations, committed dereliction of duty causing extensive damage to the state, and engaged in corruption.

Rojana is now facing criminal charges of embezzlement, malfeasance, falsifying documents, falsely certifying documents and dereliction of duty.

Mr Karun said the ministry was informed that the PACC and Amlo have collected sufficient evidence before submitting the case to prosecutors.

“The Education Ministry is also proceeding with a fact-finding probe to identify other people in the network,” the permanent secretary said.

Central Phuket

Although the dismissal takes immediate effect, Rojana has the right to appeal within 30 days, Mr Karun said.

Meanwhile, Amlo was examining a money trail linked to her in the hope of unearthing more clues in connection with the Sema Phatthana Chiwit Fund embezzlement scandal.

Amlo expects to conclude its findings within a month.

Witthaya Netitham, the Amlo secretary, said the authorities were sifting through all transaction details involving the aforementioned 22 bank accounts.

Ministerial inspector Atthapol Truektrong, speaking in his capacity as chairman of the ministry’s fact-finding panel probing the case, said last week that evidence of corruption was found “literally everywhere” the ministry looked in relation to the case.

The investigation picked up pace following a search of Rojana’s home on Song Prapha Rd in Don Muang district last week.

Security officials seized documents there thought to contain proof of embezzlement.

Mr Witthaya said the criminal investigation into Rojana was making progress.

Mr Witthaya also said Amlo found money in the accounts was withdrawn at the beginning of last month. The office is now looking into where it went.

Money laundering can result in up to 10 years’ jail time in Thailand. Rojana is accused of having committed the same offence repeatedly.

Siripong Sritula, director of the PACC’s Bureau of Suppression of Corruption in Public Sector 2, said the priority was now to find out whether more senior officials were involved.

Lt Col Siripong said Rojana was cooperating, but that it could take some time before she discloses everything and the whole case is brought to light.

The inquiry sub-panel appointed by the PACC is sorting out the evidence seized so far. Investigators now know the identity of the people in whose names the 22 bank accounts were opened.

It should not be difficult to track down the misappropriated money, they added.

Also yesterday, the Office of the National Primary Education Commission (Onpec) said it has launched two fact-finding teams to probe reports by the local education office that a private school in Kanchaburi was using names of newborn babies, including those at a daycare centre, to fill a form it submitted to the commission seeking details of financial subsidies.

Onpec deputy secretary-general Chalam Thathatham said the teams had gone to the school to find more information.

At this stage, the commission is treating the case as “suspicious”.

Read original story here.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Discover Thainess | 27 March 2018 - 10:40:54

How disgusting an individual do you have to be to steal 100million from a fund set up to educate poor children?? It’s one thing to take a bribe over procuring some machinery or something, but this is a whole different ballgame. What kind of society produces people who think this is ok?? Horrific. 

BenPendejo | 27 March 2018 - 09:56:20

Evil greedy peepun. So, "...director of the Bureau of Suppression of Corruption said "...the priority was now to find out whether more senior officials were involved."  Duh, this will go all the way up in that corrupt organization, I would guess far up enough that Khun Rojana better watch out for motorbikes pulling up along side her. Disgusting levels of greed and corruption in this...

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Final preparations being made to raise ’Phoenix’

Silly Kurt,"who is responsible" you ask? TiT, nobody is responsible or accountable, and it...(Read More)


Phuket probation officers prepare to use electronic tagging devices

What are the conditions with use of ankle bracelets? House arrest, or allowed to move a few hundred ...(Read More)


Man killed in solo Ducati Monster motorbike accident

If the rider had known how to counter steer correctly, he most probably could have made it around th...(Read More)


Phuket consuls fed glossy update over road safety, accidents and drownings

The present Governor not present. Sure, during his time on the island nothing happened to get things...(Read More)


August tourist arrivals up 3%

Hosanna! Up 3%, But services, infrastructures, cleanness, beach safety, etc went down, much more th...(Read More)


Phuket lifeguard contract corruption probe confirms ‘irregularities’, case sent to NACC

Everyone know this has been going on for years. Going after these folks and stopping it is welcomed...(Read More)


Illegal booze ads ‘rampant’ in markets, says DDC

How would Soi Bangla in Patong look like if the stopped all bars from having bar girls and boys from...(Read More)


GoAir to launch India’s first direct Phuket flights

Hope India's well known rape culture stays at home. Thailand is a perfect foment for it to flour...(Read More)


Man killed in solo Ducati Monster motorbike accident

What circumstances could have been challenged? It happened at a 50 km/h speed advised route at 02:...(Read More)


 

Melbourne Cup 2018