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‘I was framed,’ school chief swears

BANGKOK: The director of a school accused of demanding B400,000 in “tea money” from a parent in exchange for enrolling a student has denied the allegation, claiming he is the victim of a plot to oust him by disgruntled alumni whose children were not admitted to the school.

crime, corruption, politics,


Bangkok Post

Wednesday 21 June 2017, 09:34AM


Samsenwittayalai School director Viroj Samluan appears at a news briefing yesterday (June 20). Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul
Samsenwittayalai School director Viroj Samluan appears at a news briefing yesterday (June 20). Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul

Samsenwittayalai School director Viroj Samluan described it as a “well-organised plot”.

The case first drew the attention of the media after one parent circulated a video clip allegedly showing the school director receiving money for accepting his child into Mathayom 1 (7th Grade).

The clip showed a parent, whose name has not been disclosed, placing a brown envelope filled with cash on a table in what was claimed to be Mr Viroj’s office.

The parent allegedly recorded every contact with the school director, including phone calls and the handover of the purported bribe. The director was said to have had his deputy accept the cash on his behalf.

The parent said the cash was a bribe and that the video footage was made public to get the permanent secretary for education to look into the issue.

At a press conference yesterday (June 20), Mr Viroj insisted he had never sold enrolments.

He said the student in question was admitted on April 5 while the video showing the alleged “tea money” was shot two weeks later on April 19.

The student was one of sixty who enrolled in Mathayom 1 this year under special conditions made available to the school’s land donors, benefactors, the children of teachers and students from partner schools. Other students had to pass a rigorous test.

“If the student had already been admitted, there was no need to pay any tea money. Moreover, why was the clip not circulated immediately ... but rather delayed until June?” Mr Viroj asked.

He said he believes he may be the victim of a conspiracy by a group of school alumni who were upset their children could not get into the school.

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He said these alumni had requested the school secure seats for their children in Mathayom 1 and Mathayom 4 (Grade 10) every year, but that the school could not “help” all of the students.

He said the video was a “set-up” aimed at blackmailing him into compliance.

Also yesterday, Mr Viroj lodged a complaint with Bang Sue Police Station, filing a defamation suit against the parent who released the clip.

“Under school regulations, parents cannot donate money before the announcement of the entrance exam results, and every time the school receives a donation we must give donors a receipt as a record – so the bribe never took place,” he said.

In a statement, Samsenwittayalai Alumni Association said the scandal has hurt the school’s reputation. It urged the Education Ministry to investigate the issue.

On Monday (June 19), the Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) set up a fact-finding panel and sent its legal experts to look into the case.

Obec secretary-general Karun Sakulpradit said the director will be transferred and face disciplinary action if the allegations are confirmed.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said he ordered the Education Ministry to clear the matter up. “I insist we should not have any more ‘tea money’ incidents,” he said. “More importantly, we have to ensure all schools have the same standards.”

Read original story here.

 

 

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Jor12 | 26 June 2017 - 20:14:29

Kurt...I would refer you to the comment of eagle in which he states, "...because of that rumors/lies get spread." 

However, you continue to state, "strange discriminatory admittance policy of that school."  The article states that the parents' allegations are being investigated, in which case there can be no such Policy as you state.  

You further allege a "400,000 thb bribe matter" whereas there is only the statement of a parent, who can say what she likes
and has done so. Therefore, there is no evidence of a bribe at all.  

You further state, that the "school director said it clearly" whereas there is nothing in the article that indicates he said that.

I hope that answers your query, as you could not answer where in the article the Director had said what you categorically stated.

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Jor12 | 24 June 2017 - 17:16:12

eagle...sorry, my misunderstanding. Thanks for the clarification.

Rorii...as I stated, "all the allegations in this article are from the parent, who can say what she likes and has done so." 

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Kurt | 24 June 2017 - 13:18:45

Rorii,  Is it not fascinating how a few readers keep nagging on that 400,000 thb bribe matter, but completely bypass my comment on the strange discriminatory admittance policy of that school? ( favoritism, based on position parents)

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Rorri | 23 June 2017 - 21:00:25

OMG, I thought there was going to be a lovers tiff, glad to see the boys, Jor12 and Eagle, are now back in bed.

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Eagle | 23 June 2017 - 17:05:36

Jor12,the misreading/not understanding was regarding Kurts comment.I absolutely agree with your opinion.

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Rorri | 23 June 2017 - 16:56:27

Jor12, the article also states "The case first drew the attention of the media after one parent circulated a video clip allegedly showing the school director receiving money for accepting his child into Mathayom 1 (7th Grade)."

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Jor12 | 23 June 2017 - 16:05:17

eagle...no, it says nothing at all about the Director, only a denial and being a well organised plot. "The director WAS SAID to have had his deputy accept the cash on his behalf." - all the allegations in this article are from the parent, who can say what she likes and has done so.  

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Eagle | 23 June 2017 - 09:21:28

Jor12,clearly a case of not reading/understanding an article well.And because of that rumors/lies get spread.

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Jor12 | 22 June 2017 - 19:24:02

Kurt...where in the article is it stated - as you allege, "The school director said it clearly: His deputy accepted ( was ordered?) the 400,000 on his behalf." ?

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Kurt | 22 June 2017 - 13:51:58

Probably the school director is right.
He was framed in a "well-organised plot". He was trapped. Oh oh.
The fact is the bribe of 400,000 was excepted.
The school director said it clearly: His deputy accepted ( was ordered?) the 400,000 on his behalf.
Sounds like a proper and honest confession.

Also a shining light about the discriminatory acceptance policy of the school.
Children of school land donors, benefactors (bribers?), children of teachers, please, welcome. 
Other students had to pass a rigorous test.
Seems some school reforms are needed, right?

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