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Graftbusters name 270 in welfare furore

NATIONWIDE: The Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) has forwarded a list of 270 officials allegedly involved in a welfare fund embezzlement scandal to the Department of Social Development and Welfare to consider disciplinary action.

Tuesday 19 June 2018, 08:38AM


The welfare scandal that began with testimony by an honest intern now has grown to include 270 likely corrupt civil servants nationwide, with the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission recommending ‘disciplinary action’. Photo: Bangkok Post / File

The welfare scandal that began with testimony by an honest intern now has grown to include 270 likely corrupt civil servants nationwide, with the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission recommending ‘disciplinary action’. Photo: Bangkok Post / File

PACC secretary-general Korntip Daroj said these officials may be transferred from their current positions while the disciplinary investigations are under way and the transfer will not affect the PACC’s inquiry.

This group of officials are the first and second batches of people being probed over their alleged involvement in irregularities in welfare projects for the underprivileged.

The schemes were implemented by the centres for the destitute, which are under the Department of Social Development and Welfare. More than 60 centres nationwide are under PACC investigation and the embezzlement scandal first came to light in Khon Kaen in January.

Lt Col Korntip said the officials at the centre for the destitute in the northeastern province of Bung Kan are the first to be charged with graft by the PACC.

He also said it may take a while before the agency wraps up its inquiry into the alleged irregularities because more than 1,000 witnesses will have to be interviewed in each province.

Lt Col Korntip said the agency’s plan expand its probe into alleged welfare embezzlement in the third batch involving 28 provinces has yet to proceed. Based on initial information, PACC investigators expect to find irregularities, he said.

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According to the PACC secretary-general, the names of high-ranking officials implicated in the scandal have been forwarded to the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) for further action.

Last week, Amlo lodged a complaint with police accusing a former permanent secretary for social development and human security and his close associate of stealing money from state welfare funds for the destitute.

Named in the complaint were Puttipat Lertchaowasit, former permanent secretary for social development and human security, who was a former chief of the Social Development and Welfare Department, and a former female official who was his close aide.

Amlo had earlier issued an order to freeze B88-million worth of assets related to 12 suspects in the scandal including Mr Putthipat and his aide.

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Kurt | 23 June 2018 - 13:27:08

More than 270 stealing Government officials, just in welfare setting only. How many people depend on welfare did not received their correct welfare payments? Must be thousands. Ok, so all these government officials are now on non-active, right? Waiting to be judged in court, and send to prison. Right? Government takes this stealing  serious or not,  continue to employ criminals? Would be shame ful...

BenPendejo | 19 June 2018 - 09:21:34

These officials are a prime example of what institutional corruption looks like. Greedy corrupt officials using public monies to build up their slush funds instead of helping the poorest people like they were supposed to. Why would these crooks be transferred to new jobs? If guilty, they should be arrested, imprisoned and banned from public service. Just too many crooks running this place. 

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