National Anti-Corruption Commission passes a resolution to probe corruption in rice pledging scheme

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BANGKOK, 27 May 2014 –The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has passed a resolution to investigate possible corruption in the rice pledging scheme after 2.8 million tons of paddies that was thought to be missing was found.

Sansern Poljiak, the NACC secretary-general, has briefed the press on the facts that during the third phase of rice pledging scheme, there were reports of a major loss. Furthermore, the account closing subcommittee could not prove whether 2.98 million tons of paddies really existed.

The account closing committee has calculated the milled rice was sold at an average price of 23,000 baht per ton while the rice sold by Ministry of Commerce was between 12,000 and 14,000 baht per ton. The price went lower to only 8,000 baht per ton during the caretaker government period.

Meanwhile, a number of paddies are deteriorating and waiting for surveyors to inspect the quality. After price is evaluated, the loss of this pledging scheme may skyrocket.

The NACC is set to investigate four witnesses namely, the Director General of the Department of Internal Trade, Somchart Soithong, Ministry of Finance permanent secretary Rangsan Sriworasart, Ministry of Finance inspector Kulis Sombatsiri, and the manager of the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) or its representative.