Viroj Samruan, former director of Bangkok’s Samsen Wittayalai School
Viroj Samruan, former director of Bangkok’s Samsen Wittayalai School

Bangkok school director guilty in tea-money case: preliminary finding

national January 16, 2018 06:51

By The Nation

The disciplinary investigation into the alleged bribery case of Viroj Samruan, former director of Bangkok’s Samsen Wittayalai School, has come to a preliminary finding that Viroj was guilty and would be subjected to a dismissal from the civil service with or without benefits and pension entitlement, said the Education Minister’s advisor, Maj-General Kosol Pathumchart on yesterday.



Viroj’s two alleged accomplices – a deputy school director and another individual – were still under the disciplinary investigation committee’s scrutiny and, if they were deemed guilty, their names would be revealed and this case would be concluded next month, Kosol said. 

Viroj was accused of demanding and taking Bt400,000 in “tea money” from a parent in exchange for enrolling a son in the school’s Mathayom 1 class for academic year 2017. His accuser posted to social media as evidence a secretly taken video clip of Viroj allegedly taking the bribe.

Viroj and the two other accused had also been summoned by the disciplinary committee to hear the bribery accusation. They have 15 days to object to the disciplinary probe result and clear themselves, or the decision would be concluded and submitted to the Bangkok Education Committee to consider appropriate punishment, Kosol said. The punishment for such a serious breach was dismissal from the civil service with or without benefits and pension entitlement, he said.

“We have information of a clear disciplinary breach linked to Samsen Wittayalai School amounting to around Bt7 million or Bt8 million in bribes,” said Kosol. “There are several cases, not just this case revealed in the video clip and the money didn't go to the school’s or state’s coffer and the receipts weren’t given right away but later, which was a violation of regulations.”

Kosol added that the delay in this case’s disciplinary investigation was due to the busy schedules of the litigation team members, which led to some turnover.

Kosol also shared an update on the progress of another case in which a retired teacher, who also served as a school director’s secretary in Lampang, had filed a complaint against the school director via the Dhamrongtham Centre and related authorities. The complainant said the school director had borrowed Bt10 million for his personal use.

The school director was transferred to an inactive post pending a disciplinary probe, said Kosol, and the disciplinary committee for that case had already concluded that the school director was guilty and proposed to the Lampang Education Committee that he be fired from the civil service.

 

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