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NACC busts school kickbacks

BANGKOK: The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) yesterday (Sept 18) ruled that the former director of Samsenwittayalai School in Bangkok and other two colleagues committed severe violations and broke several laws by taking parents' money in exchange for enrolling their children in the well-known school.

By Bangkok Post

Thursday 19 September 2019, 10:25AM

Viroj: ‘Took money from six parents’. Photo: Bangkok Post

Viroj: ‘Took money from six parents’. Photo: Bangkok Post

Found guilty in kickback money scandal (commonly called pae jia in Thai) were former school director Viroj Samluan, deputy director Phusith Prayoonanuthep and Prachern Pongsakul, the schools' student recruitment chief.

The NACC investigation found they violated the Government Teacher and Education Personnel organic law on corruption prevention as well as other criminal codes by receiving over B1.44 million from six parents and fabricating donation receipts.

“The NACC concluded that the school’s director received money from parents. The former director and two other colleagues also worked together in ordering bursar officials to issue backdated donation receipts to justify receiving the money. They even transferred part of the money to hide in a bank account,” Woravit Sookboon, secretary-general of NACC said yesterday.

In addition to facing punishment for the severe acts, the three will face criminal charges for “coercing” administrative officials at the school to issue backdated receipts and embezzlement.

The findings put an end to one of several notorious kickback money cases that emerged in June 2017.

Pae jia has been rampant in Thai education. Yet, this case at Samsenwittayalai School caused a public outcry.

The case first drew the attention of the media in June 2017 after one parent circulated a video clip allegedly showing Mr Viroj receiving B400,000 for accepting his child into Mathayom 1 (7th Grade).

The parent allegedly recorded every contact with the school director, including phone calls and the handover of the purported bribe.

Dan About Thailand

The school director was said to have had his deputy accept the money on his behalf.

Mr Viroj reportedly accused a group of parents of concocting a plot to frame him, then filing a defamation suit against the parent who released the clip.

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

The NACC launched an investigation in April last year.

The investigation later found the school's director and deputy director had demanded money from six parents altogether, with a total sum of B1.44mn.


Read original story here.

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Kurt | 19 September 2019 - 11:25:00

About accused of criminal activities 'school directors/officials', what is happening next? Court, conviction, prison time, lost of pension? Specially that character Viroj, with his defamation suit attack on parents. Not very clever. Well, there is a defamation inflation in this thai hobby already.  Time for a law with new defamation rules.


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