NACC asked to probe kickback demand

NACC asked to probe kickback demand

Srisuwan Chanya (left), secretary-general of the Association for the Protection of the Constitution, submits a petition to an official at the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) office to ask the NACC to probe a bribery accusation involving budget approval for the Department of Groundwater. (Photo from Facebbok ศรีสุวรรณ จรรยา)
Srisuwan Chanya (left), secretary-general of the Association for the Protection of the Constitution, submits a petition to an official at the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) office to ask the NACC to probe a bribery accusation involving budget approval for the Department of Groundwater. (Photo from Facebbok ศรีสุวรรณ จรรยา)

Srisuwan Janya, secretary-general of the Association for the Protection of the Constitution, on Sunday filed a petition with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) calling for it to investigate a bribe demand allegation against a sub-committee member of the House budget-scrutiny committee.

The allegation was made by Sakda Wichiansilp, director-general of the Department of Groundwater Resources (DGR), who said a member of the sub-committee whom he did not name had demanded 5 million baht in exchange for the panel to approve his department's proposed budget without being trimmed.

Mr Sakda made the allegation last Wednesday while defending the DGR's budget request before the sub-committee.

Mr Srisuwan said that if this was true, it was very bad for the country's politics and administration. Demanding a bribe in this manner was shameful and should not happen in a democratic country.

This would also have negative impacts on the country's administration and erode investors' confidence in the country's administration, he added.

Mr Srisuwan said the NACC had the authority to invite people who were involved in this matter, especially the DGR director-general, to give statements on who in the sub-committee had made a telephone call to demand the bribe.

The NACC could also ask to see minutes of the meeting to see if any member of the sub-committee had tried to corner Mr Wichian during the meeting, he added.

Mr Srisuwan suggested that if Mr Wichian was invited to testify, the NACC should also invite Saranwut Saranket, a Pheu Thai MP for Uttaradit, to provide information because he had mentioned such bribery before.

Mr Srisuwan also called for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, as head of the executive branch, to set up a committee to look into the matter.


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