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Ministry to crack down on fraud under subsidy scheme


Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin said on Friday that he had ordered the Social Security Office to pursue legal action against individuals who might have violated the conditions of the government’s latest subsidy scheme by offering cash without exchange of goods or service.

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The scheme offers Bt4,000 via the Pao Tang application to Thai nationals under Section 33 of the Social Security Act who do not hold a state welfare card, have not joined the "Rao Chana" (We Win) scheme and have less than Bt500,000 in savings. The money can be spent at participating merchant stores until May 31, in a bid to boost the country’s pandemic-hit economy.

On Friday, Social Security Office secretary-general Thossaphol Kritwongwiman said that he had filed complaints of possible fraud with the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau and had urged police to investigate the suspects who had opened web pages on social media as well as mobile applications inviting people to trade in their Rao Rak Kan money for cash.

“Our preliminary investigation revealed that these pages offered cash for Rao Rak Kan money but there is no evidence of products or services being offered, which violated the terms of the campaign,” he added.

So far 5,720,967 people have been approved to receive the handout, or 77 per cent of total people who are qualified, while the ministry estimated the scheme would help inject more than Bt11.4 billion into the economy.

Thoosaphol warned registrants and merchants under the campaign not to believe these web pages or mobile applications that promise to give them cash, as they could be disqualified from the campaign and might face fraud charges.

Under the modus operandi, the suspects invite people to spend their Rao Rak Kan digital money through the Pao Tang application at their store, where, instead of a product or service, they are offered cash minus the margin for the "merchant".

Published : March 27, 2021

By : THE NATION