Opposition hands evidence of corruption in rice scheme to NACC

The Democrat Party submitted evidence of alleged massive corruption in the government's rice pledging scheme to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) on Monday.

Democrat list-MP Ong-art Klampaibul and Warong Dechgitvigrom, Democrat MP for Phitsanulok, who represented the opposition, asked the graft fighters to investigate the allegations and officials involved. Those named include Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom.

The eight files of evidence handed to the NACC include the money trail from selling stockpiled rice which the opposition party claims benefitted "some people'' in the cabinet.

Ong-art Klampaiboon, left, and Warong Dechgitvigrom, second left, submit evidence on the rice pledging scheme to a National Anti-Corruption Commission official. (Photo by Thiti Wannamontha)

The Democrats will continue their onslaught on Tuesday by urging the Anti-Money Laundering Office to investigate the money flowing from the scheme.

Mr Ong-art and Mr Warong reiterated a call for the government to make public contracts and letters of credit from claimed government-to-government deals, not only with China but also Indonesia and Ivory Coast.

During the censure debate last week, the government was grilled about reports of widespread graft in the rice scheme.

It was said corruption in the government's rice scheme had occurred at three levels -- rice pledging registration, rice storage, and selling of rice from the government warehouses.

The opposition party on Saturday also demanded the government present documents to prove it had sealed a rice export deal with Beijing, after the Chinese ambassador to Thailand said the agreement had only been reached in principle.

The government has claimed it sold five million tonnes of pledged rice to China under a G-to-G deal.

The Democrats also forward evidence of alleged graft in the government's fund for SML's amid criticism that the project favoured only politicians close to the ruling Pheu Thai Party and members of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship.

PM's Office Minister Varathep Rattanakorn on Monday said the prime minister had already demanded a probe on this issue and the investigation could be wrapped up next week.

The government was not complacent on this allegation and had ordered all provincial officials to look into possible corruption, he added.

Related search: rice pledging scheme, democrat party, boonsong, nacc

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