21 May 2024

A municipal school director in Bangkok’s Khlong Sam Wa district has been temporarily suspended from active duty, pending an investigation. On Wednesday, he was caught red-handed in his office with 320,000 baht in cash, given to him by a school food provider.

The food contractor, whose identity was not disclosed, won the bid to provide lunches, under the free lunch program, to students of Bang Chan School in Khlong Sam Wa district.

Officials from the National Anti-Corruption Commission, the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission and the Police Anti-Corruption Division launched a sting operation, after they received a complaint from the unnamed bidder.

The contractor claimed that the school director had demanded 320,000 baht in cash from him, supposedly to improve the conditions in the school’s canteen. He claimed that he was also told by the director to pay 9,000 baht per month during the contractual period, otherwise the director would report that he had charged for meals for students who did not show up to eat to the BMA.

When the man arrived up at the director’s office and handed him the 320,000 baht in cash, the undercover officials, who were waiting outside the school, rushed to the office to make the arrest.

The director has denied that he demanded a bribe.

Dr. Wantanee Wattana, deputy permanent secretary of the BMA, said that a fact-finding committee has been set up to investigate the case, adding that, for the time being, the school director has been temporarily suspended from active duty.