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Junior Royal Thai Police ‘Ordered’ to Pay for Bosses New Air-Conditioner



BANGKOK – Eleven low-ranking police officers have cried foul over an order forcing them to pay more than 2,000 baht (US$64) each to buy a new air-conditioner for their bosses’ office at Phahon Yothin Police Station.

Pol Sgt Loesak Nonkhunthot, one of the 11 officers, filed their complaint Tuesday with the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC). In the petition letter, they accused two police inspectors of ordering lower-rank colleagues to chip in money for a 25,000-baht (US$801) cooling machine.

The officers were ordered to deduct between 2,000 and 4,000 baht from allowances earned during their mission to monitor street protests between May and June last year, according to the complaint.

“I and my colleagues disagree with the order,” Pol Sgt Loesak said, reasoning the purchase should be made out of state budget, not “personal money”.

On Tuesday, he handed over the evidence to PACC, including photos of the air-conditioner that had been mentioned and the police inspectors’ order which was sent through the Line chat application.

Reportedly, the two police inspectors are Pol Maj Ekkarat Omak and Pol Maj Chalakon Pandaeng.

Former Phahon Yothin police chief Yanyong Santiprichawat admitted such an order was issued. Every officer in the investigation unit, not only the lower ranks, had made contributions, he said.

“I think it’s a kind of an internal agreement,” said Pol Col Yanyong, who has assumed a new post as deputy chief of Metropolitan Police Division 2.

In another related story, a state employee has accused her boss of demanding a payment of half of the 30,000-baht (US$961) salary for a job at the people’s Health Zone 8.

Her workplace is one of 13 zones set up in 2014 under the National Health Commission to help to improve people’s quality of living.

The commission is chaired by Adm Narong Pipatanasai, deputy chief of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

The employee, identified as Chanittha Mangkhachot, said she had to pay 15,000 baht (US$480) to Winai Wongasa, the coordinator of a secretary committee for Zone 8, because she needed a job.

The 33-year-old also claimed employees in other zones did the same.

Ms Chanittha said she agreed to pay, but asked him to sign a receipt when receiving the money.

However, according to her accusation, Mr Winai rejected her request and simply told her to give him a share of her salary. Ms Chanittha refused, prompting Mr Winai to tell her to quit.

Also, Mr Chanittha said she has not received any salary since December last year.

By King-oua Laohong

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