Glacial NACC

27 04 2018

The pattern of “investigations” by the National Anti-Corruption Commission is that political opponents of the military junta tend have judgements made in quick time, while the buddies, allies and members of the military junta proceed at a glacial pace or are quickly dismissed.

An example of glacial “investigation” is that of Deputy Dictator, Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, who was caught with more than a score of expensive luxury watches and sundry precious gems. The result, so far, is that the general has declared his case “over” but the NACC claims that its investigations continue – they are now in a fifth month – despite the relative simplicity of the case in investigative terms. Of course, because of conflicts of interest in “investigating” a boss, the cover-up inquiry drags on.

The Bangkok Post reports another case that is slower than a glacier. In recent days, the NACC “has pledged to speed up probes into irregularities in bungled police station construction projects which allegedly involved Suthep Thaugsuban, the former leader of the now-defunct People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) which led a mass street protest against the Yingluck Shinawatra administration.”

Suthep is treated with great respect and some circumspect in the circles of the great and good because he’s a thug but his “work” for the “cause” in bringing down Yingluck is to be rewarded.

Back in April 2015, an NACC subcommittee decided to “charge former deputy prime minister Suthep Thuagsuban of malfeasance in office for arbitrarily changing the method of the bid for the construction of 396 police stations in defiance of a cabinet’s resolution.” If we recall correctly, that subcommittee has begun its work in 2013.

Recall that Yingluck was also accused, “investigated,” and sentenced on a malfeasance claim in May 2014. The case, far more complicated than that involving Suthep, was completed and through the courts by September 2017.

When the NACC subcommittee began the case, it “said that Mr Suthep was fully aware that the National Police Office would have to call bid for the construction of the police stations in each region as proposed by the NPO and endorsed by the cabinet.” Yet in 2009 Suthep “arbitrarily changed the method by holding just one bid for the construction of all the police stations across the country.”

Subsequently, “the company which won the bid was unable to fulfill the contractual commitment to build 396 police stations and eventually abandoned the job.” It was a was a 6.67-billion-baht project.

Three years later, five years after NACC “investigations” began, and nine years after his alleged malfeasance, NACC president Gen Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit says his “agency is in the middle of examining the money trail in the case and the result will be presented to the NACC committee no later than September…”.

Such timelines for the NACC just never seem to mean anything when “investigating” the buddies, allies and members of the military junta.



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