July 20, 2014 00:00
By Piyanut Tumnukasetchai
The Office of Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) board has set up a sub-panel to urgently probe if officials at Phetchaburi's Kaeng Krachan National Park had been negligent in not handing over Karen activist Pholachi "Billy" Rakchongcharoe
The case stemmed from a police complaint by Billy’s wife Pinnapa Preuksaphan against park officials who arrested the activist for carrying illegally harvested wild honey on April 17 but did not hand him over to the police. Billy has gone missing since then, Prayong said.
Besides the case involving Billy, two more cases were to be urgently probed by PACC subpanels – the 2013 case in which southern police were accused of conspiring with Myanmar accomplices to lure Rohingya people for human trafficking; and, Chaiyaphum’s Muang district municipality officials’ alleged corruption in a Bt100,000 garbage disposal project. Probe into all these cases should be completed in three months, he added.
Out of the 20 cases the PACC board took up, they assigned subpanels to probe 15 cases, Prayong said.
The PACC board also indicted and submitted to public prosecutors three criminal cases, he said. They were: the case of Ubon Ratchathani’s Phu Chong Na Yoi National Park officials’ alleged release of illegal loggers without punishing them; the case of a Bangkok policeman from Samsen embezzling Bt1-million deposit money in state item procurement; and the case of unlawful issuance of national ID cards to others by Khlong San district officials in Bangkok. The PACC would also submit the evidence to the accused officials’ supervisors to proceed with disciplinary action, he added.
Meanwhile, Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) secretary-general Seehanart Prayoonrat yesterday said the agency seized additional assets worth Bt12 million, which were allegedly acquired by cheating the country of up to Bt4 billion worth of value-added tax.
The case has seen the alleged gang’s assets worth Bt800 million totally being seized by AMLO. Seehanart said the Bt12 million was from the safe box of a suspect, Phatcharee Sirichote, and that AMLO had seized her assets worth Bt512 million in total and was now waiting for her explanation about their origin in 30 days.
In another case about a Siamese Rosewood trading gang in five Northeastern provinces, Seehanart said AMLO had seized 500 cars, which were used for smuggling the timber. He said the cars that are in good condition would be auctioned, so as to return money to the state.