Defense Ministry IDs suspects in Pattaya quarantine-hotel corruption scandal

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Lt. Gen. Kongcheep Tantrawanith said the Defense Ministry has identified suspects seeking kickbacks from getting Pattaya hotels certified to be government coronavirus quarantine centers and that none of them are from the military.
Lt. Gen. Kongcheep Tantrawanith said the Defense Ministry has identified suspects seeking kickbacks from getting Pattaya hotels certified to be government coronavirus quarantine centers and that none of them are from the military.

The Defense Ministry said it has identified suspects seeking kickbacks from getting Pattaya hotels certified to be government coronavirus quarantine centers and that none of them are from the military.




Lt. Gen. Kongcheep Tantrawanith said May 26 that interviews with Thai Hotels Association Eastern Region members had led ministry investigators to the suspects, who claimed they could arrange for even unqualified hotels to be designated quarantine facilities in exchange for a 40 percent kickback.

The hotel group earlier said none of the closed Pattaya resorts approached had taken the offer.

While Kongcheep said he could not divulge details of the ongoing investigation, he assured the public that those identified are not army personnel. The suspects purported to belong to a state enterprise managing quarantine operations. Kongcheep said if further investigation finds any corrupt government personnel involved, they will be disciplined and prosecuted.

Kongcheep said seven Pattaya hotels have participated in the quarantine program to date, accommodating 2,315 Thais returning from overseas. On May 26, another 300 were expected to check into Pattaya hotels, which have been closed during the pandemic.