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School director accused in ‘tea money’ scandal

BANGKOK: A Samsenwittayalai School director accused of demanding B400,000 in “tea money” from a parent in exchange for enrolling his child must return the money if he is found guilty of receiving it, says the Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) chief.

crime, corruption,


Bangkok Post

Tuesday 20 June 2017, 08:43AM


The Rama VI Rd entrance to Samsenwittayalai School is a well known landmark in the Samsen Nai area. Photo: via Google Maps
The Rama VI Rd entrance to Samsenwittayalai School is a well known landmark in the Samsen Nai area. Photo: via Google Maps

Moreover, the director, whose close aide has claimed that he is being blackmailed, will face disciplinary procedures and criminal charges if he is found to have taken the money, said Obec secretary-general Karun Sakulpradit.

Mr Karun said Obec legal experts have been sent to investigate the issue at the Samsenwittayalai School located on Rama VI Rd.

The alleged bribe attracted media attention after the parent unveiled a video clip allegedly showing the payment being made to the school director for admitting his child into Mathayom 1 (6th Grade).

The clip showed a parent placing a cash package on a table in the office of a man who is alleged to be the director.

The parent recorded every moment of contact from talking to the person over the phone to setting up an appointment and later bringing the money in a brown envelope to the school. But the school executive allegedly told the parent to hand the cash to his deputy, who was standing nearby.

The parent claimed the cash was a bribe and yesterday (June 19) he also petitioned the permanent secretary for education to look into the issue.

“The director must clarify whether he received the tea money and must return it to the parent if he engaged in misconduct,” said Mr Karun.

“We don’t know what the truth is. That will become clearer after the inspection,” he added.

A fact-finding panel has begun its investigation but has not yet met with the school director, who was travelling back to Thailand after a study trip, Mr Karun said.

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“I’m very serious about this matter because Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin always tells officials not to let them [tea money payments] take place at schools,” said the Obec secretary-general.

If the fact-finding panel finds the accusation has legs, the school director will be transferred and face a further probe and serious disciplinary action.

Meanwhile, a secretary for the director, who was set to return to Thailand from the trip abroad yesterday, has made an initial response to the accusation, arguing the bribe never took place.

The secretary claimed the incident was a “well-organised plot” by a group of school alumni who were upset their children could not get into the school.

He said the alumni had requested that the school secure places for children at Mathayom 1 and Mathayom 4 (10th Grade) every year, including this year, but the school could not “help” all of the students, according to the secretary’s handwritten note obtained by the media.

As a result, the “set-up” video clip, which was shot on April 19, was aimed at blackmailing the school director, he said.

The secretary left one question at the end of the note, asking why the clip was not disclosed right after April 19, but was instead kept until June.

The panel anticipates that the school director will be able to report to its members today.

Read original story here.

 

 

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Rorri | 22 June 2017 - 18:28:19

Jor12, the probe is into the accusation of taking tea money. The article is very clear, in black and white, but hey, you can have the last say, I can't be bothered debating you on this anymore.....

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Jor12 | 22 June 2017 - 17:29:20

Rorii the article is about not taking bribes. There is a probe to investigate that, in which case there can be no legal loop hole as you wrongly suggest.

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Rorii | 22 June 2017 - 09:36:45

Jor12, in the article it only states "always tells officials not to let them [tea money payments] TAKE PLACE AT SCHOOLS" it does not say not to take tea money period, even a lawyer would see this "loop hole" where it does explicitly forbid taking "tea money."

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Jor12 | 21 June 2017 - 19:23:09

Rorii...then explain what it means when say, "...could be interpreted as let them {tea money payments] take place outside school." Are you saying that the school is countenancing or approving or not.  It's not a big word if you understand English.

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Capt B | 21 June 2017 - 10:34:58

Not Guilty.
Case dismissed

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Rorri | 21 June 2017 - 06:47:44

Jor12, it seems you want to use words, countenanced, in order to prove your "higher" intelligence,  the word means "approve" which is certainly NOT what I wrote.

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Jor12 | 20 June 2017 - 16:42:47

Rorii...no it's you cannot read and understand. If a probe is being instigated into the affair, how on earth can it "...be interpreted" as being countenanced in the school; outside of the school or on the moon? so obviously swerv is correct in his analysis. 

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Rorii | 20 June 2017 - 16:08:20

swerv, it actually says "always tells officials not to let them [tea money payments] take place at schools" which could be interpreted as let them {tea money payments] take place outside school, what it does not say is what you posted "It stated that tea money should not be paid."
Seems it might be you that cannot read the article properly.

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swerv | 20 June 2017 - 14:49:13

Kurt: I wish you would read an article properly before jumping on your key board to be the first to comment.
Nowhere in this article did it state that tea money should be paid outside, in the park or so. It stated that tea money should not be paid. This is what you wrote.
"It is good that head masters/school directors, teachers are advised not to take the tea money inside the school but outside, in the park or so".

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Kurt | 20 June 2017 - 13:42:43

Wow, a tea money affair. Quite interesting and educational.
Now Ministry of Education has something to do.
It is good that head masters/school directors, teachers are advised not to take the tea money inside the school but outside, in the park or so.
Head masters/school directors and teachers should follow 'orders' from the Ministry.

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