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Items found missing in govt offices

GOVERNMENT officials have complained that valuables, computers and other items in their offices are missing following the siege by demonstrators.

"Computer notebooks were gone as locked drawers were pried open apparently by force," Department of Special Investigation (DSI) chief Tarit Pengdith said yesterday. DSI headquarters is located inside the Government Complex in Nonthaburi.

Though the siege at the

Government Complex ended on Monday, several officials returned to their offices for the first time yesterday because Tuesday was a public holiday.

Anti-government demonstrators rallying under the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) started occupying the Government Complex and the Finance Ministry last month.

Now PDRC supporters have camped out around Government House.

Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO) spokesman Maj-General Piya Uthayo said significant property damage was reported at the Finance Ministry and the Government Complex.

"Police are now present at both places so damaged parties can come forward and lodge complaints. We have evidence to nail down culprits," he said.

He said damage was allegedly done to vehicles, doors, phones and notebooks. "Desks were rummaged through," he said.

At Finance Ministry headquarters in Bangkok's Soi Aree, civil servants returned to work yesterday.

Police officers, including forensic police and bomb squad units, inspected the compound before Finance permanent secretary Rangsan Srivorasart announced that government employees could return to the ministry today.

The initial investigation found that 25 laptop computers, some external hard disks, 11 iPads and Samsung Galaxy Tabs, as well as 26 mobile phones were missing from the premises. The authorities also reported damage to civil servants' personal belongings at the Budget Bureau.

While most officials could return to their usual workplace yesterday, the Interior Ministry was still closed.

PDRC-led demonstrators were still gathered at the Interior Ministry while Assadang Road outside the ministry was inaccessible to traffic as protesters blocked the way with barbed wire fences. The authorities have asked protesters to open a way for the government workers, but their request was rejected despite other ministries being reopened by now. The demonstrators claimed the blockade remains at the Interior Ministry, as it is the command centre for 76 provinces nationwide.

The protesters said the closure period of the ministry depends on the decision of protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban. Schools situated in Bangkok near the rally sites at Nang Lerng intersection and Chamai Maruchet Bridge, including Rajavinit Matthayom School and Rajamangala University of Technology Phra Nakhon, remain closed as protesters still occupy the areas.




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