Cops miss out on Covid payments

Cops miss out on Covid payments

Probe panel unsure if fraud involved

Another 145 of Chinese tourists from Guangzhou arrive in Thailand on Monday by China Southern Airlines along with 118 foreign businessmen and another 16 Thai returnees. Chinese tourists started returning last week under the Special Tourist Visa policy granted to revive tourism. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Another 145 of Chinese tourists from Guangzhou arrive in Thailand on Monday by China Southern Airlines along with 118 foreign businessmen and another 16 Thai returnees. Chinese tourists started returning last week under the Special Tourist Visa policy granted to revive tourism. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)

Police around the country claim they have been cheated of extra payments due to them for special work carried out during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Initial inquiries have found these officers have not been fully paid the extra money they were promised, says Pol Gen Wissanu Prasarttong-Osoth, Inspector General of the Royal Thai Police.

"There have been irregularities in the disbursement of extra Covid-19 prevention payments to police," said Pol Gen Wissanu, head of a committee looking into the matter. "Some police did not receive any extra at all and others have been asked to return part of their payments."

Pol Gen Wissanu was referring to the special overtime rates offered to policemen who were sent to staff Covid-19 checkpoints or work extra hours during the prevention of the coronavirus.

Each officer was entitled to overtime at the rate of 60 baht per hour, up to a maximum of seven hours/420 baht per day. However, some police have complained they either received less than what they were they due or less than what they were entitled to.

Pol Gen Wissanu said the RTP found there was some truth in the allegations and the blame lay with administration officials in its Bursar Office, who make the extra payments.

"We need to find out whether the problem was due to cheating or just a mistake," he said, pointing out the irregularities appeared to have only been for some individuals, not on a systemic basis.

He said the shortfalls affected police in Saraburi, Nonthaburi in the Central region, Surin, Loei, Khon Kaen and Maha Sarakham in the Northeastern region, Chiang Rai in the North as well as Phuket and Phatthalung in the South.

Pol Gen Wissanu said the inquiry team would need another 60 days to complete its job. If anyone is found guilty of cheating, the RTP would send their files to the National Anti-Corruption Commission, he said.

Meanwhile, Thailand recorded seven new imported Covid-19 cases on Monday, taking total infections to 3,743. No new deaths were reported.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said all new cases were Thai nationals returning from overseas and all were asymptomatic.

The seven returnees had flown back separately from Bahrain, Austria, Jordan, Iraq, Qatar, Turkey and Kuwait.

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