Local officials under investigation for multimillion baht purchase of street lamps

Photo via Facebook/ @act.anticorruptionThailand

Following allegations of corruption over a local government’s exorbitant purchases on decorative street lamps, Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission has been investigating and say procurements of the street lamps in a province just outside Bangkok were not in line with regulations. More than 20 people and local government officials, including the former Samut Prakan governor, are now being investigated by the commission.

A tambon administrative organisation in Samut Prakan, southeast of the capital, after the local officials purchased thousands of fancy solar-powered street lamps, adorned with mythical kinnaree figures, for 642.65 million baht.

The commission has been looking into allegations that some executives in the Racha Thewa tambon administration organisation, or TAO, were involved in the in irregularities in the procurement of the high-priced street lamps, according to NACC deputy secretary-general and spokesperson Niwatchai Kasemmongkol.

The TAO launched several projects to procure street lamps over the past 8 years, but the procurement procedures did not follow regulations set by Thailand’s Interior Ministry.

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Certain companies were favored over others for the project, Niwatchai says. Installation of the lamps also did not follow standards set by the Thai government, the commission found.

5 panels have now been set up to investigate the projects by the TAO over the past several years. The commission plans to finish the investigations in the next 6 months.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Tanutam Thawan

Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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