11 July 2024

The deputy provincial health chief of Nakhon Ratchasima has been ordered to cease performing his duty and has been transferred to an inactive post at the 9th public health regional office, pending the outcome of an investigation into his alleged involvement in corruption concerning the holding of “virtual” training courses for health officials.

The immediate transfer of Dr. Sunti Tuaymeerit was ordered by Dr. Puwadet Surakhot, the health inspector of the 9th public health regional office, after anti-corruption police and officials from the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) raided Dr. Sunti’s house and three other locations in Nakhon Ratchasima, to search for evidence of the disease control training project in 32 districts for 2018 and 2019.

It was discovered that budget was sought to hold training courses, but no training courses actually took place. Additionally, there were lists of officials participating in the course, some of whom were found to be deceased.

Dr. Suphol Tatiyananthaporn, the provincial health chief, said that a fact-finding committee has been set up to consider disciplinary action against Dr. Sunti.

He asked the people in Nakhon Ratchasima to trust the provincial health system and assured them that the money it received will be spent for the good of the people.

According to the PACC, about four million baht was sought for the holding of seven training courses for Dan Khun Thot district in 2019, which were found to have never taken place.

PACC Secretary-General Bhumivisan Kasemsook said that, of the 32 districts designated for training courses, no training was held in 29 districts, adding that the names of people who had died since 2009 were included in the list of participants to claim allowances.

He also said that an elderly man was referred to as bidding to provide a food service to the participants, but the man claimed that he knew nothing about the bidding and has lodged a complaint with the police.

He disclosed that the Anti-Money Laundering Office had, in the course of its investigation, implicated six health officials with involvement in money laundering and they have about 50 million baht in their bank accounts.