DSI to probe police station and flats building projects
Department of Special Investigation (DSI) chief Tarit Pengdith gave the green light yesterday to an investigation into a controversial project to build 396 police stations, worth Bt5.84 billion, and 163 police flats, worth Bt3.7 billion.The probe will focus on bidding collusion and fraud.
A previous investigation by the Royal Thai Police recommended that the contract be cancelled.
Tarit said the project was a serious crime with premeditated plotting and abuse of authority, and that DSI investigators would next week summon former national police chiefs General Patcharawat Wongsuwan, General Prateep Tanprasert and General Wichean Potephosree and later Democrat MP Suthep Thaugsuban.
The DSI should conclude its investigation into the police-station project in 30 days and its probe into the flats in 50 days.
Pibul Udomsitthikul, an executive from PCC Development and Construction Co (PCC), insisted that the firm had reasons for not completing the project and said they would explain themselves in a press conference next week.
Tarit said DSI had initially found that PCC's winning bid for police stations was Bt540 million less than the Bt6.38 billion median price, while the price proposed by the first runners-up, Sam Prasit Ltd, stood at Bt6.095 billion. So the DSI would check PCC's monetary transactions and look to see if the firm wanted to win the bid at lowest possible price so it could pocket the 15-per-cent advance and the first instalment without ever planning to complete the project.
As for PCC's claim that it did not agree with the merging of the two projects, Tarit asked why - if it had disagreed right from the start - it decided to bid to and propose a price way below the median.