Sunday, September 27, 2020

Corruption watchdog failed in its duty over bogus ‘bomb detectors’ 

Sep 02. 2018
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Re: “NACC mains ‘inconclusive’ over purchase of bogus detection devices”, The Nation, August 30.

According to this article, a member of the NACC stated that officials used the GT200 and Alpha 6 so-called “bomb detectors”, and considered that they were worth the price. Really? I wonder how they came to that conclusion. Other people who considered the price too high had better judgement. The gadgets are utterly useless, and according to reports in the British media, they were originally sold as (equally useless) golf ball detectors, for a price equivalent to around Bt550. Thailand bought 1,398 of them, at a cost of Bt1.13 billion, which means it paid about Bt800,000 per gadget. Quite a mark-up! 

Several questions remain unanswered. For example, were the gadgets tested before the purchases were approved, and if so, how? Were there any unusual circumstances surrounding payments to the suppliers? Why did they continue to be used after the British government confirmed that they were useless, and tests in Thailand came to the same conclusion? Several individuals in the UK who sold these gadgets around the world were convicted of fraud, and sent to prison for terms of up to 10 years. So far no one in Thailand has been held accountable for wasting an enormous amount of taxpayers’ money, and endangering lives, and perhaps causing needless deaths and injuries, yet the NACC seems to be waffling and dissembling instead of digging out the truth.

Robin Grant


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