Permanent Secretary for Finance Areepong Phucha-um stated that the move follows the ministry's initial probe which found 18 officials were suspected of involvement. The officials, stationed both in the capital and rural areas, comprised of 4 Class-9 officials with 14 others holding either senior or field positions.
Mr. Areepong has assigned the Revenue Department to handle the investigation. The Permanent Secretary also disclosed that about 20 companies are also charged with possible involvement in the fraudulent VAT refund which might cost the nation 4 billion baht in damage.
Revenue Department Director General Sathit Rangkasiri elaborated that there are a total of 38 companies found involved in the VAT refund cases, with an estimated damage of 2.88 billion baht. He said that the companies , mostly owners of iron bar trading business, claimed 4.3 billion baht in tax refund, but they had only paid 1.4 billion baht worth of VAT.
The Director General admitted that there were previous cases of bribery and VAT cheating, involving around 200-300 business operators.
He said that he would coordinate with the Department of Special Investigation and the Anti-Money Laundering Office in conducting further inspection of the suspected companies and would also review Revenue Department regulations to prevent repetition of the case.