The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) yesterday decided to set up two panels to probe the government's handling of the rice pledging scheme and the annual military reshuffle.
The target of the rice deal investigation is Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom while the inquiry into the reshuffle will scrutinise Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat and Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
NACC spokesman Klanarong Chanthik said the rice committee is headed by Wicha Mahakhun, Pol Gen Sathaporn Laothong and himself.
The other sub-committee is led by Wichai Wiwitsewi, Preecha Lertkamol and Pol Gen Sathaporn.
The agency's decision is in response to the Democrat Party's complaints. The opposition grilled the government about both issues in last month's no-confidence debate.
On Monday, Democrat MP for Phitsanulok Warong Dejkijwikrom submitted evidence which he said proved irregularities in the rice scheme.
Mr Klanarong said the rice probe will be limited to the commerce minister alone, at least initially. Mr Boonsong was left out of the no-confidence debate.
As it develops, the inquiry may be extended to cover others, he said.
Mr Klanarong said the information on alleged corruption in the rice pledging scheme given by Mr Warong and other MPs during the no-confidence debate would also be taken into consideration. The government-to-government (G-to-G) rice deals will also be studied, he added.
The military reshuffle probe was formed in response to the Democrats' impeachment bid against ACM Sukumpol and Ms Yingluck, he said.
The pair were accused of abuse of authority over the transfer of former defence permanent secretary Sathian Phoemthongin and two other generals.
Mr Klanarong said the NACC has not considered other issues raised, including the ouster bid against Deputy Interior Minister Pol Lt Gen Chatt Kuldilok, who was grilled in the no-confidence debate in his former capacity as a deputy transport minister.
He said the NACC has assigned investigators to gather more information and submit it to the agency for consideration.
Mr Warong, meanwhile, submitted a petition to the Anti-Money Laundering Office, asking it to look into money transfers involving the rice scheme.
The Democrat MP said irregularities were suspected because the money transfers were made through individuals rather than governments, which was an unusual practice for G-to-G contracts.
No timeframe was given for the NACC probes.
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- Writer: Pradit Ruangdit