At least five directors of the centres for the protection of the destitute have, so far, been found to be implicated in the alleged embezzlement of the fund for the poor and the destitute, said Minister of Social Development and Human Security Gen Anantaporn Kanjanarat, on Wednesday (March 28).

He, however, said he would have to wait for the return of Mrs Napa Setthakorn, director-general of Social Development and Welfare Department, from an official inspection trip before it could be determined what legal or disciplinary actions to be meted out against the five directors who are C7- and C8-level officials.

Asked whether the ongoing probe would implicate the permanent secretary Mr Puttipat Lertchaowasit, and his deputy, Mr Narong Kongkham, the minister said that given the big amount of the budgetary allocation for the fund, it was suspected that high-level officials might be involved intentionally or unwittingly.

However, he added that he had to look into the details of the case first, but he warned that a disciplinary probe would be launched if the senior officials were implicated.

Officials of the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) have, so far, uncovered corruption in the management of the fund for the destitute in 53 centres across the country. About 87 percent of the fund was believed to have been stolen from the poor and the destitute.

The 53 centres where corruption was uncovered include:

20 provinces in the Northeast�Khon Kaen, Bung Karn, Nong Khai, Udon Thani, Roi-et, Surin, Chaiyaphum, Buri Ram, Maha Sarakham, Nakhon Ratchasima, Amnat Charoen, Yasothon, Ubon Ratchathani, Nakhon Phanom, Kalasin, Mukdahan, Nong Bua Lamphu, Si Sa Ket, Sakhon Nakhon and Loei

12 provinces in the South�Surat Thani, Krabi, Trang, Yala, Phatthalung, Chumphon, Songkhla, Narathiwat, Satun, Phang-nga, Phuket and Pattani;

9 provinces in the North�Chiang Mai, Nan, Phitsanulok, Phichit, Lamphun, Lampang, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son and Kamphaeng Phet

6 provinces in the Central�Saraburi, Ayutthaya, Ang Thong, Uthai Thani, Lop Buri and Nakhon Pathom

4 provinces in the East�Trat, Chanthaburi, Chon Buri and Sakaeo

2 provinces in the West�Ratchaburi and Tak.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)

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