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BMA management under fire over its alleged irregularities

Oct 18. 2015
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By Natthapat Phromkaew
The Natio

Who paid for deputy governor's first-class air travel, retirement parties in japan? asks ex-mp vilas

Former member of parliament Vilas Chanpitaksa is planning to file complaints against some bigwigs of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) over alleged irregularities.

“I will ask the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Anti-Money Laundering Office to investigate such irregularities,” Vilas said yesterday during a press conference at the Democrat Party headquarters.

He said a deputy Bangkok governor had flown first class to foreign countries such as France and Germany every month.

“The deputy governor has paid for the tickets with cash. “Did that money come from any firm seeking favour in BMA procurement projects?” Vilas asked.

Vilas said the BMA had issued a circular to district offices in Bangkok, telling them to request a budget for the procurement of fast-suction vehicles, with each eight-cubic-metre vehicle costing Bt24 million. Every district office already has at least one fast-suction vehicle, he said.

“The procurement project was suspended only after I exposed the alleged irregularities,” Vilas said.

Without identifying the deputy Bangkok governor, Vilas said members of the deputy governor’s team recently held retirement parties in Japan using free air tickets they got through the promotion of a firm.

“During the promotion, a purchase of Bt50,000 was rewarded with a roundtrip ticket between Bangkok and Japan. Purchases of Bt5 million [in total] were finally made to claim 100 free tickets. Is it honest procurement?” he asked.

‘Suspicions over upcoming US trip’

Vilas questioned where seven top BMA executives had got the money for what he said was an upcoming trip to the United States.

He also expressed doubts about the project to develop a public park in Bangkok’s Thon Buri district.

The former Bangkok MP claimed it took up to a seven-digit sum for BMA officials to gain favour in the transfers of district office directors.

Vilas claimed the BMA used to have Bt30 billion in savings but the amount was now only Bt2 billion.

He said after noticing the alleged irregularities in BMA’s management, he wanted the Office of the Auditor-General to investigate budget use by other local administrative bodies.

Vilas hinted that the recent order by the National Council for Peace and Order to remove Charae Panpruang as House of Representatives secretary-general was because of his lack of cooperation in the ongoing investigation against his predecessor Suvijak Nakwatcharachai over budget irregularities.

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