Probe into controversial rice subsidy half complete


BANGKOK, April 5 – An independent investigation into alleged corruption in the multi-million-baht rice pledge scheme is more than 50 per cent complete, a member of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) said today.

Sakchai Metinipisaskul, a member of the NACC investigative subcommittee, deplored the government’s failure to cooperate in the probe which started last October.

The investigation was launched following a corruption charge by a civic group, led by Somsak Kosaisuk, leader of the New Political Party and a core leader of the anti-government People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD, the Yellow Shirts), over the rice deal.

Mr Somsak showed up at NACC headquarters today to follow up on the case.

The group charged the Commerce Ministry with malfeasance in executing the rice subsidy programme which was launched last year. The scheme continues this year for the second rice crop despite widespread criticism.

Mr Sakchai said the NACC will exercise its power under the law in taking legal action against those refusing to provide information concerning the rice scheme.

He said the subcommittee delved into the rice trading procedures to determine if there were bogus farmers/traders cashing in on the scheme, and government-to-government deals as claimed (by the Commerce Ministry).

“We have investigated from the (Cabinet) level down to ministries and officials working in the field,” he said. (MCOT online news)