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Phuket lifeguard corruption probe ‘to take six months’

PHUKET: The investigation by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) into alleged corruption in the hiring of a company to provide lifeguards on Phuket’s beaches will take at least 180 days, The Phuket News was told today (Oct 22).

By The Phuket News

Monday 22 October 2018, 07:05PM

A ragged red ’no swimming’ flag flutters on Patong Beach. Photo: The Phuket news / file

A ragged red ’no swimming’ flag flutters on Patong Beach. Photo: The Phuket news / file

Region 8 Police submitted the results of their preliminary investigation into alleged corruption over a government contract issued to provide lifeguards at Phuket’s beaches to the NACC in Bangkok on Sept 13.

In confirming that the case had been referred to NACC, Region 8 Police Deputy Commander of Investigation Col Arnon Dashrugsa noted, “We have found that the corruption allegations do have merit.” (See story here.)

The investigation began after an anonymous complaint was formally filed with Region 8 Police on May 30 under the name Khon Rak Thong Tin (People who love this place).

The complaint claimed that a company had managed to be awarded a government contract to provide lifeguards at Phuket beaches despite the company not having the resources to provide what the government tender required.

The complaint also pointed out that the company had also failed to deliver on the services provided after the contract period began, but yet the contract was not annulled by officials, which itself serves as another breach of government procurement regulations.

Region 8 Police Investigator Lt Col Monsak Srisuwan, who conducted the preliminary investigation into the claims, noted “It does appear to be a case of corruption in Phuket. However, some of the details we have learned from our investigation we are not able to reveal yet,” he added.

So far the company or officials involved have not been named by police “for legal reasons”. (See story here.)

An NACC official responding to queries by The Phuket News today confirmed that the NACC office in Bangkok had received the request from Region 8 Police to investigate the claims further on Sept 13.

The case has since been handed to the NACC Phuket office to investigate further, the official said.

“Right now it is their responsibility (the Phuket Office),” said the NACC officer.

NACC Phuket Chief Preechanun Pumlek today also confirmed, “The request (for an investigation) is our task now. We received this letter in October.”

Mr Preechanun declined to confirm on which date the request was received by his office.

He also declined to identify the parties named in the complaint.

“It is about ‘finding the truth’,” he said.

“I am not able to reveal details yet. It is our responsibility. We have to finish this process in 180 days. We will do our best,” he added.



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Kurt | 23 October 2018 - 10:56:56

Probe to take up to 6 months?  Wow!
Time enough to dig a very deep hole at a beach and to bury it, and hope nobody ask questions anymore after 180 day. Obviouslt influential people are involved and lower levels Officials don\'t want to burn their hands on it.  TIT-4.0  yes-yes.

Doneit | 23 October 2018 - 08:35:33

6 months!!! By then it'll all be forgotten as usual.

vegasbaby | 22 October 2018 - 20:39:54

Follow the money ..should take 6 minutes, not 6 months.

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