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Netizens Highlight Political Corruption in Distribution of Flood Relief Funds

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Thai Actor Bin said on Monday he had tightened up donation auditing to prevent political corruption. District chiefs, administrative organisations must now to check the names of flood victims before giving money.

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BANGKOK – Netizens have complained that flood relief funds raised by Thai Actor Bin Bunluerit are being Siphoned off. Netizens are accusing community leaders of taking a cut from recipients eligible for relief funds Bin has raised.

The donations are for victims in flood-ravaged provinces in the Northeast.

The community leaders were reportedly entrusted by Bin to compile a list of residents to receive the cash donations.

Facebook Page Accuses Local Officials of Political Corruption

A Facebook page called “Nok Krajok” alleges that local leaders were collecting between Bt300 and Bt500 as a “paperwork fee” from flood victims. The flood victims are entitled to receive 5,000 baht from the donations.

Local officials were also adding names of residents unaffected by the floods to the donation recipient lists, the page claimed.

Deputy Prime Minister Says Demanding Fees is Political Corruption

Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Prawit Wongsuwon said demanding fees from victims was despicable example of corruption. He said Bin needed to ensure the donations were not tainted by these types of political corruption.

Gen. Prawit himself was involved in political corruption scandal last year over million dollar luxury watches.

Thai actor Bin Bunluerit acknowledge the abused, describing the actions as “deplorable”.

He said victims had willingly paid the “paperwork fee” because they were afraid that local leaders would exclude them as recipients. He said he knew the culprits’ of the political corruption and was taking legal action against them.

Donations Bin has collected have exceeded 400 million baht.

Bin said on Monday he had tightened up donation auditing to prevent political corruption. District chiefs, administrative organisations must now to check the names of flood victims before giving money.

The actor said he has so far disbursed 32 million baht of donated money. He said the money should reach every household affected by the floods before the end of the year.

Anti-Corruption Organization Alleges High-Ranking Position-Buying

Meanwhile, the deputy provincial governor in Ubon Ratchathani said the floods should subside by the end of this month.

Flooding brought by tropical storms Podul and Kajiki has effected 419,988 households across 32 provinces. Floods have caused 35 deaths, according to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s Anti-Corruption Organization (Act) has alleged high-ranking position-buying occurred in some ministries. Government positions were offered for Bt10-30 million.

Secretary-General Mana Nimitmongkol of Act posted on Facebook that positions were offered for 10-30 million baht. On the condition that particular projects being approved in the future.

He also alleged that an executive at a large fund under a ministry was asked to set up a new project. Money from the fund could be then used and potentially siphoned off.

The executive refused to comply and was then threatened with a transfer by a high-ranking minister. Mr Nimitmongkol would not reveal the name of the ministry to protect his sources of information.

Source: Bangkok Post