Dems named in supplies scam


BANGKOK, 14 November 2012 -The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has implicated a former Democrat minister and deputy minister in the scandal-plagued procurement program for vocational schools.

Former education minister Chinnaworn Boonyakiat and former deputy education minister Narisara Chawaltanpipat are among four people who have been implicated in a DSI probe into the 5.3-billion-baht scheme to procure learning equipment.

The other two people are Jiang Wongsawatsuriya, director of policy and planning under the Office of the Vocational Education Commission and Bamrung Aramruong, the director of Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya Technical College. The DSI alleges the four were found to have breached Section 157 of the Criminal Code and the Prime Minister’s Office’s regulations on procurement.

DSI chief Tarit Pengdith said the probe has uncovered five different irregularities in the procurement scheme, including the appointment of close aides to the procurement committee, the purchase of education supplies at inflated prices, and price collusion.

Meanwhile, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva has made known he will file a petition asking the National Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate Defense Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat’s order to dismiss him retroactively from military service. Abhisit believes the defense minister’s actions are tantamount to an abuse of power.