Nonthaburi hospital director caught just as he accepted a bribe
The director of Nonthaburi’s Bang Kruai Hospital was arrested on Thursday as he allegedly received 93,000 baht in bribes from a contractor. The suspect initially denied the allegation, saying the money was meant to be spent on the hospital and on the public.
Pol Maj-General Jaroonkiat Pankaew, who oversees the Police Anti-Corruption Division, along with Poomwisan Kasemsuk, deputy secretary-general of the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), swooped in on Dr Wichai Rattanapanpanich, 53, as he was receiving cash from the contractor hired to set up the hospital’s computer system.
The money was used to lure the suspect so he could be caught red-handed. Police have collected additional evidence and documents for investigation.
PACC had received a complaint via its 1206 hotline from the contractor earlier that after he signed the 280,000-baht contract to install the hospital’s computer system, the director allegedly demanded 15 per cent of the bidding price. The demand was then raised to 35 per cent (93,000 baht), the complainant said.
In response, PACC coordinated with the police to set up a trap for the director.
Initial investigation also revealed that several similar complaints had been lodged against the director. Though the suspect’s secretary showed up with 500,000 baht as a bail guarantee, the authorities are still considering if he should be allowed temporary release.
PACC said it will investigate the case further before forwarding it to the National Anti-Corruption Commission.
“Businesses facing demands of any sort from government officials can lodge a complaint via the 1206 hotline. The authorities will investigate the case and coordinate with police accordingly,” Poomwisan said.