NACC points finger in drug detector case
The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has named and charged three officials implicated in the illegal purchase of Alpha 6 narcotics detectors 10 years ago.
The three are Surasak Wongsarote, who was assigned by the Phitsanulok governor in 2008 to oversee the purchase, Wirakit Intharaprasit, who headed the purchase committee, and Songsak Phumphon, a member of the procurement committee. All were officials of the Phitsanulok provincial governor's office.
The anti-graft agency decided to file charges Monday, including criminal ones, against Mr Surasak and the other two officials, NACC secretary-general Worawit Sookboon said.
The NACC probe revealed the purchase was plagued with irregularities ranging from an inflated price quote and procurement going ahead without authorisation, he said.
According to the NACC investigation, Mr Surasak went ahead with the purchase right after receiving a price quotation. Failure to make careful checks and negotiate the 1.6-million-baht price with the seller raised suspicions, Mr Worawit said.
Another oddity was that the firm concerned was known for selling medical equipment, not drug detectors.
Mr Surasak however signed a purchase deal with the company despite not having the authority to do so, Mr Worawit said. The governor has the final say.
The irregularities continued even after the Alpha 6 detectors were bought.
According to the NACC secretary-general, Mr Surasak failed to follow regulations requiring a three-member procurement committee to formally receive and test the equipment.
Mr Surasak did it himself and later told a panel member, identified as Kwanchai Khamchum, to sign the procurement document despite him not being part of the process.
The NACC did not name Mr Kwanchai as an accomplice but was treating him as a witness, according to Mr Worawit.
Mr Wirakit, as head of the purchase panel and Mr Songsak, as part of the procurement body were negligent because they failed to ensure the regulations were enforced, the NACC chief said.