Former national police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda has been found guilty of procurement irregularities related to the acquisition of 260 smart patrol cars worth over 900 million baht, following months of investigative work by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).
According to NACC Secretary-General Niwatchai Kasemmongkol, the agency made the decision to pursue legal action against the former police chief and 45 of his associates during a meeting held on March 14, in which it found sufficient evidence to support allegations of procurement irregularities in relation to the project.
The procurement of smart patrol cars included a contract with Genius Traffic System Co Ltd for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. Officials became suspicious about whether or not the procurement complied with the Public Procurement and Supplies Management Act BE 2560 (2017) and Finance Ministry regulations on procuring and managing supplies. They also questioned the high price of the smart patrol cars and whether the process provided fair competition.
As many as 230 vehicles are equipped with high-technology tools such as a roof-top camera, a notebook or a notepad, and a passport verification tool, as well as equipment for police officers such as tasers and helmet cameras.
Niwatchai said the 46 suspects consisted of five police executives, seven officers who were on the committee that outlined the specifications for the project, three officers on a committee drafting a median price, and 31 people working in private companies. The NACC will allow the accused to provide the agency with additional evidence on the procurement in question in order to defend themselves within 15 days.
In May of last year, the NACC committee established an inquiry panel to investigate the project, which resulted in allegations against Pol Gen Chakthip and 45 other individuals. The panel consisted of nine NCAA members, led by Commissioner Supa Piyajitti.