Payout hastened for rice scheme 'victims'

Payout hastened for rice scheme 'victims'

A special working group will be formed to speed up compensation to five injured parties in the bogus government-to-government deals under the infamous rice-pledging scheme, said Suppharoek Iam-la-o, acting director of the Marketing Organisation for Farmers (MOF), one of the affected parties.

The committee was set up to implement the ruling of the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions on Sept 6 last year.

The parties entitled to compensation are the MOF, Commerce Ministry, Finance Ministry, Department of Foreign Trade, and Public Warehouse Organisation.

The execution of the ordered compensation to the parties would involve tracing assets held by a number of private parties named in the ruling, he said.

"The special working group will help us save a great deal of time," said Mr Suppharoek.

He said the Commerce Ministry would serve as the secretary of the working group.

"Without the help of a special mechanism like this, the five injured parties would have to wait longer," he said. "And the longer they take in tracing the assets to be seized, the greater the risk the asset owners will be able to siphon them off."

When all assets are seized and sold, the money these five parties are entitled to receive as compensation in the rice case would go directly to the Finance Ministry and then allocated to the affected parties later, he said.

Meanwhile, a group of consumers buying apartments from a condominium project seized in connection with the G2G ruling have petitioned the Justice Ministry for remedies for affected buyers, who the court ruled weren't entitled to receive compensation in the rice case.

Sirinat Ruangsuwandet, a representative of about 1,000 home buyers affected by this case, said they had lost more than 400 million baht in combined damages after the condo project was seized.

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