By The Nation
“That’s an internal probe and we will not interfere in it. But when our official results come out, the ministry will not be able to challenge them either,” PACC acting secretary-general Lt-Colonel Korntip Daroj said yesterday.
He was speaking in response to reports that the ministry had launched a probe against three officials at the Khon Kaen Protection Centre for the Destitute over alleged minor disciplinary offences or for allegedly failing to fully comply with the ministry’s regulation on how to disburse the fund.
An informed source said one of the three officials facing the internal probe felt relieved after walking out of the probe room.
“I didn’t feel the pressure. The questions are very fair,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
This official has maintained that she is innocent and has complained about being transferred in the wake of the scandal.
The PACC has been investigating the alleged embezzlement of state funds for the destitute across the country, after a student intern at the Khon Kaen Protection Centre for the Destitute noticed suspicious activities and blew the whistle.
The investigation has, to date, detected irregularities in fund disbursement at 56 protection centres for the destitute and self-development settlements.
PACC has already officially asked the Social Development and Human Security Ministry to take disciplinary action against 158 officials linked to the corruption scandal. Of them, 35 are directors of the centres.
At present, the PACC is also looking into the alleged embezzlement of the Education Ministry’s Educational Fund for Life Development.
“Next week, the inspector-general who chairs the ministry’s fact-finding committee on this case will submit evidence and witnesses to the PACC,” Korntip said.