Public, private agencies to check rice stocks nationwide

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BANGKOK, June 26 – Joint public-private rice scrutiny agencies will inspect rice mills and warehouses nationwide tomorrow amid the latest report of more than 2.5 million tonnes of grains missing from government stockpiles.

National Police chief Adul Saengsingkaew met with officials from four ministries – commerce, agriculture, finance and interior – as well as the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) to discuss preparing for the rice checks after the discovery of widespread thefts

Representatives from 19 private companies will join the investigation.

Pol Gen Adul also set up a special centre at the National Police Bureau to receive rice-related information throughout the country, adding that more than 16,000 police nationwide will assist in the operation.

In the northeastern province of Chaiyaphum, officials found that more than 6,200 tonnes of rice were stolen from a warehouse in an unscrupulous rice transfer.

The governor of Chaiyaphum has instructed the Public Warehouse Organisation (PWO) to take urgent legal action against the rice miller who could be charged with embezzling.

Officials said documents carrying counterfeit signatures of PWO officials were produced to the authorities before the rice was transported from the warehouse.

A similar case of rice theft was found in Phichit province on the weekend.

Meanwhile a rice warehouse under the government’s rice pledging programme in Ayutthaya province caught fire and burned on Monday night. (MCOT online news)