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Former School Director for Guilty of Taking Kickback from Parents

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Kickbacks “Pae jia” has been rampant in Thai education. Yet, this case at Samsenwittayalai School caused a public outcry.

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BANGKOK – A former school director and two colleagues have been found guilty of taking kickbacks from parents for school enrollment.  Taking parents’ money in exchange for enrolling their children in the well-known school.

Former school director Viroj Samluan, deputy director Phusith Prayoonanuthep, and Prachern Pongsakul, the schools’ student recruitment chief were found guilty.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) found they violated the Teacher and Education Personnel organic law on corruption prevention. As well as other criminal codes by receiving over 1.44 million baht from six parents then fabricating receipts.

“The NACC concluded that the school’s director did receive money from parents. The former director and two other colleagues also ordered officials to issue backdated donation receipts.

They even transferred part of the money to hide in a bank account,” Woravit Sookboon, secretary-general of NACC said on Wednesday.

Apart from facing punishment for the severe acts, the three will face criminal charges for “coercing” administrative officials and embezzlement.

Anti-Corruption Commission Ends Kickback Investigation

The findings put an end the notorious kickback money cases that emerged in June 2017.

Kickbacks “Pae jia” has been rampant in Thai education. Yet, this case at Samsenwittayalai School caused a public outcry.

The case first drew the attention of the media in June 2017. A parent circulated a video clip allegedly showing Viroj receiving money for accepting his child into Samsenwittayalai School.

The parent allegedly recorded every contact with the school director, including phone calls and the handover of the purported bribe.

The school director was said to have had his deputy accept the money on his behalf, the Bangkok Post reported.

The Former School Director of Course Denied the kickbacks

Mr Viroj reportedly accused a group of parents of concocting a plot to frame him. He then filed a defamation suit against the parent who released the video clip.

The Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) set up a fact-finding panel and sent its legal experts to look into the case. The NACC launched an investigation in April last year.

Source: Bangkok Post