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Sergeant says he’ll go to court to fight army corruption

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: Khaosod English

After accusing the Thai army of corruption, a sergeant says he’ll now go to court to hash it out and strip his rank to get justice. Sgt. Narongchai Intharakawi, a clerk for the Army Ordnance Department, is accused of deserting his post amid a complaint he made against the army regarding alleged fraud.

A video of the a superior officer threatening the sergeant was leaked on the internet last week with many watchers saying it exposes the military’s nepotism and corruption. The major says the sergeant needs to go through proper channels when making a complaint, and if the report is wrong, punishment will be doubled, the Thai Enquirer reports.

The sergeant apparently tried to file complaints to the army’s internal auditors, but nothing happened, so he reported it to a parliament’s committee on transparency.

Yesterday, the sergeant posted on Facebook saying he’s ready for trial and he’s waiting on a warrant from military court.

“If you want to strip my ranks, I’m willing to return them, but will you be able to give me justice?” the sergeant wrote, according to Khaosod.

“I deserted my duty. I have no salary, job or place to live, and I’m now being prosecuted. But those who are corrupt are still wearing their uniforms, receiving their pay from taxpayers’ money. Is this what you call reform?”

The sergeant is being investigated for leaving his post. While some say the sergeant left his post to lodge the complaint, an army spokesperson says the sergeant refused to return to his barrack months before the complaint was made.

SOURCE: Khaosod English | Thai Enquirer

 

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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