Bang Sue station Vaccination Center has warned the general public not to be fooled into paying for COVID-19 vaccination registration, after a successful crackdown on offenders in the present case. Mingkwan Wichaidit, the Director of the Institute of Dermatology who is also running the center, emphasized today that all people are eligible for vaccinations without any cost.
Dr. Mingkwan explained that the center normally accepts 10,000 – 30,000 vaccine recipients per day by two methods of registration – advance bookings 24 May – 29 Jun, and walk-ins 30 Jun – 31 Jul. However, the center began a suspension of the walk-in vaccination service from today as the recent massive turnout makes social distancing difficult to manage.
Those in the walk-in group needed an on-site registration. The center therefore allowed volunteers to help enter and edit vaccine recipient’s personal information during the registration at 200 stations throughout the center. This became a loophole for the corruption that has emerged.
The center started to detect abnormalities in the number of advance booking cases on 18 Jul and the number significantly surged to over 2,000 registered cases on 28-31 Jul. The suspicious actions were an excessive number of advance booking recipients and late-night data uploaded after 22.00 which was outside working hours.
According to Dr.Mingkwan, on 28 Jul which was the first day that hundreds of unlawfully registered recipients came to the center for inoculation, the center’s team cancelled all these bookings in order to force them to show up and complain. Over 300 of them were identified and their comments were helpful in the case.
According to their statements, either they, a relative or employer paid for the bookings at a price of 400 – 1,200 baht per queue. The center collected the names of the offenders and their bank accounts for further investigation.
The Central Investigation Bureau held an initial investigation involving 19 suspects including volunteers. Meanwhile, the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) will run deeper investigations on its part.
To prevent a recurrence of such corruption, Dr. Mingkwan said that the Bang Sue Center canceled all suspicious advance bookings registered in the system on 28-31 Jul and up until 8 Aug, deactivated all user logins of outsiders and closed the system during the nighttime. (NNT)