DSI asked to probe alleged scholarship rip-off
Some 200 high-school students in Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son were duped into paying Bt40,000 per head to get four-year undergraduate scholarships for seven Taiwanese institutes, leading to Bt8 million in damages, an adviser to the social development and human security minister said yesterday.
On behalf of those claiming damages, Petcharawat Wattanapongsirikul filed a complaint to the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) yesterday. He said the students, many of whom had given up their university seats in Thailand to join the programme, which was supposed to have them studying in Taiwan in April, later found out that their visa applications had been denied.
He said the students were told that the Foreign Ministry had found that such a programme did not exist, and hence feared that these young people might be lured into a human-trafficking scam.
Petcharawat said the programme supposedly offered by an educational foundation in Taiwan was promoted by the Secondary Education Area 34 Office. Trying in vain to get the application fees back from the foundation, the students suspected public fraud, and hence urged a DSI investigation.