Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Hoard of documents found in car of welfare fund official

Mar 23. 2018
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By The Nation

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The Bangkok home of Education Ministry official Rojana Sinthee was searched on Friday morning as part of an investigation into the alleged embezzlement of millions of baht from the Sema Pattana Chevit scholarship fund for underprivileged children.

Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) secretary-general Korntip Daroj led the 7am search of the C8-level official’s house in Don Muang district.

A large number of documents from the fund were found in the house and also in her car, prompting suspicion that she might have planned to destroy them.

More than 10 files were in the back of the car, along with two plastic bags filled with torn pages of fund documents.

Rojana earlier confessed to her supervisors that she had, over the course of 10 years, embezzled Bt88 million from the fund set up to help young people at risk of being lured into the sex trade.

She faces a disciplinary probe that could result in her dismissal from the civil service, possibly without a pension.

Rojana allegedly transferred Bt18.8 million to other people’s bank accounts last year, which triggered the internal ministry probe that exposed the massive corruption.

The ministry found that she had prior to 2008 siphoned off money from the fund’s annual budget of Bt10 million-Bt30 million and sent it to 22 bank accounts owned by relatives and acquaintances, who then transferred it back to her.

As assistant to the fund’s secretary, she allegedly falsified the names of recipients for scholarships.

The ministry filed a police complaint against her for embezzlement and the case was passed on to the PACC.

Friday’s search was conducted with a warrant from the Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases, Korntip said.

He said investigators would scrutinise the documents and Rojana’s computer. If further suspects were implicated, a PACC sub-committee would take action.

The sub-committee is mulling charges against Rojana including forgery, misappropriation of assets, and wrongful behaviour damaging to a state agency.

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