Prayut hit with graft claims

  • The opposition on 27 Sep 22 filed a petition against suspended Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and two cabinet ministers for malfeasance over alleged graft in two projects under the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Higher Education Science Research and Innovation (MHESRI).
  • Led by Pheu Thai secretary-general Prasert Chantararuangtong, the opposition parties submitted two separate petitions to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).
  • One was against Gen Prayut and Higher Education Science Research and Innovation Minister Anek Laothamatas while the other was against Gen Prayut and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit.
  • These petitions were lodged as a follow-up to the allegations raised by the opposition parties in the previous censure debate.
  • In the first petition, they asked the anti-corruption agency to investigate Gen Prayut and Mr Anek over the spending of funds worth almost THB400mn by the MHESRI.
  • The budget was authorised for training projects that were neither urgent nor met the terms of reference as specified in the project.
  • Also accused of being involved in irregularities were three executives from Rajamangala University of Technology Isan and two politicians.
  • In the other petition, Gen Prayut and Mr Jurin were accused of neglect in their oversight of the procurement of rubber gloves during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The opposition alleged that the premier and Mr Jurin failed to freeze THB2bn of budget money which was misappropriated and laundered, and thus caused damage to the state.
  • Mr Prasert said opposition parties were also collecting evidence of graft against other ministers.

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