April 20, 2013 00:00
By Piyanut Tumnukasetchai
Executives of the St Gabriel's Foundation are expected to testify before the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) next week.
The DSI is looking into a complaint that the foundation, which operates several schools including the prestigious Assumption College, misused donations and was charging very high fees.
Established more than a century ago, Assumption College is a well-known boys-only school. However, its reputation was affected when teachers and alumni began protesting and other scandals started emerging earlier this year.
A network of parents has since lodged a complaint directly with the DSI asking it to look into the bank accounts of the foundation’s executives and those of their close aides.
“We are acting on the complaint,” Pol Lt-Colonel Bantoon Chimkra of the DSI said yesterday.
He said that the foundation’s executives were priests and had previously postponed meetings with the DSI citing religious obligations. “But by now, they should be free to respond to the DSI summonses,” Bantoon said.
According to him, the DSI has already contacted the Revenue Department and banks to find out if financial transactions by the foundation’s executives were suspicious, but it hasn’t heard back yet.
“We have targeted some executives first, but if the irregularities are confirmed, then we will have to investigate the bank accounts of other executives as well,” Bantoon said. “It will take a while for them to compile the evidence and review it,” he said.