DSI launches probe into suspect migrant registration practices
Department of Special Investigation (DSI) officials visited Chiang Mai's Wiang Haeng district yesterday to study 100,000 pages of documents after learning that up to 19,000 migrant workers were added to household registration papers.
This investigation will deal with differentiating between legitimate and illegitimate issuing of cards, revoking illegal ones and prosecuting involved officials and migrants according to the criminal and disciplinary codes. DSI chief Tarit Pengdith said the investigation should be completed in two months. He said the investigation team will also find out if ID cards had been issued to human traffickers or drug criminals.
Tarit presided over the opening of an operation centre for ID cards and household registration investigation in Chiang Mai's Muang district.
He explained that the DSI had found a few suspect items related to the house-registration procedure:
nNames of migrants previously "overlooked" were found to have been added after the September 30, 2009 deadline;
nThe information was keyed into the official database before the documents had been approved by a registrar;
nThere were not enough witness signatures;
nThe forms were not completed, with many slots left blank;
nSome officials also allegedly demanded extra money in exchange for issuing ID cards or other documents, including a permit for migrants to travel outside the allowed area.
Pol Lt-Colonel Pong-in Inkhao, who oversees security cases for the DSI, said officials will today interview those who made allegations about the demand for extra cash. Also applications deemed to be illegitimate will be sent to the Provincial Administration Department for revocation and officials found guilty in this case will be sent over to the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission.