Kriangsak plans to testify over gloves saga

Kriangsak plans to testify over gloves saga

Kriangsak Prateepvisut, director of the Public Warehouse Organisation (PWO), has revealed that a network of people -- inside and outside of the PWO -- took part in a corruption scheme in the procurement of rubber gloves worth 112.5 billion baht.

The director said he plans to testify on Tuesday on PWO's rubber glove procurement project before the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) after it agreed on Thursday to investigate the matter and froze 2 billion baht in money the organisation had transferred to a private company.

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has already questioned up to seven PWO employees and submitted case dossiers to the NACC.

The PWO has prepared all testimonies and evidence, accusing 10 people, up to five of whom worked at the PWO, Mr Kriangsak said.

Some of the evidence, he claimed, pointed to a mastermind behind Pol Col Roongroj Phuthiyawat, a former PWO acting director who signed a contract with Guardian Gloves Co Ltd to purchase the rubber gloves for 112.5 billion baht.

The PWO's workers union has submitted a letter to Suchart Techajaksemar, the PWO board chairman, asking about the progress of the board's probe into the controversial purchase and how it plans to return the money.

Pol Col Roongroj allegedly paid 2 billion baht to Guardian Gloves without asking the board for approval. The allegation prompted the organisation to request an investigation from the DSI and NACC.

In September, Pol Col Roongroj defended the purchase, saying he only wanted to help increase the organisation's revenue since the PWO had not made a profit for five consecutive years.

Pol Col Roongroj said sales of 500 million boxes of rubber gloves, to be sold at 230 baht per box, would result in many billions of baht in profit for the PWO. Half of the profit would go to the state and the other half to the PWO, he said.

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