Internal trade boss cleared of face-mask hoarding, back at work

Internal trade boss cleared of face-mask hoarding, back at work

Internal Trade Department chief Whichai Phochanakij. (File photo)
Internal Trade Department chief Whichai Phochanakij. (File photo)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has signed an order for Whichai Phochanakij to return to work as director-general of the Department of Internal Trade (DTI) after he was cleared of any corrupt practices involving the reported hoarding of face masks during the Covid-19 crisis, an informed source said on Tuesday.

In March, Mr Whichai was transferred to the Prime Minister's Office by the prime minister after the Commerce Ministry set up a committee to investigate the matter.

This happened before the imposition of the executive decree for administration in emergency situations and the setting up of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

This prompted Mr Whichai to submit his resignation letter to the Commerce Ministry's permanent secretary, asking for leave until April 24 before the resignation took effect.

However, the resignation letter was not approved by Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit.

After receiving the prime minister's order, Mr Whichai showed up at the Commerce Ministry to report to Mr Jurin.

Mr Whichai thanked Gen Prayut for giving him justice. He said the decision not only boosted the morale of officials at the Commerce Ministry but also of other officials througout the country who have performed their duties to the best of their abilities, and with honesty.

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