11 July 2024

An army colonel has been transferred and placed under an investigation after he allegedly charged each new conscript, attached to the medical battalion of the Second Army Region, 500 baht per month for septic tank emptying.

Lt-Gen Adul Boonthamcharoen, commander of the Second Army Region, said today that the information in social media, claiming that conscripts are made to pay numerous expenses which are deducted from their monthly pay, including the Bt500 septic tank service fee, is partially true, adding however that he has ordered an investigation into the matter.

He said that the commander of the medical battalion, Colonel Atchawin Akkapin, had been transferred to assist with work at the Second Army Region headquarters, pending the outcome of the probe.

Lt Gen Adul said that there are more than 200 new conscripts and the army has never charged them a septic tank emptying service fee.

He added that the reports in social media have tainted the image of the army.

Jirayu Huangsap, spokesman for the Defence Ministry, meanwhile, said that new conscripts are being charged.

He explained, however, that there are about 35 conscripts attached to the medical battalion and they were sent to the logistics battalion for training, with about 100 other conscripts there, and were charged the service fees.

The Royal Thai Army issued a statement today, however, claiming that no army units demand utility fees from conscripts.

Commenting on the matter, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said that the matter is being investigated, adding that the charges are inappropriate.