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Government rice contract under scrutiny

Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission NACC on Wednesday said irregularities have been found in a government-to-government rice contract as the payment figure was unusually low.

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Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission NACC on Wednesday said irregularities have been found in a government-to-government rice contract as the payment figure was unusually low.

NACC commissioner Vicha Mahakhun, as a member of a sub-committee examining corruption in the rice pledging scheme, said his agency is seeking details from six banks which issued 1,460 cashier’s cheques for the government-to-government rice release contract.Mr Vicha said the agency will seek court intervention to get the key information in case the banks refuse to cooperate.The NACC commissioner however noted that some cheques were worth only 80,000 baht, a number which he said was unusual given the scale of G-to-G contracts.

He said it was unusual for any state to pay an amount as small as Bt80,000 at the level of G-to-G rice purchases.Mr Vicha added deputy permanent secretary for finance Supa Piyajitti, heading a Finance Ministry team assessing rice scheme accounts, has given clear information on their contents to the sub-committee.Ms Supa earlier testified before a Senate committee that the rice-pledging scheme is plagued with corruption. The Finance Ministry then set up a committee to probe her testimony.The NACC commissioner said Ms Supa could ask for NACC protection under the witness-protection law if she felt she was intimidated. MCOT online news

via Anti-graft agency finds irregularities in govt-to-govt rice contract | MCOT.net | MCOT.net.

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