DSI hands report on kinnaree street lights graft to NACC

DSI hands report on kinnaree street lights graft to NACC

Solar powered and kinnaree-topped street lamps line Khlong Bua Koh Lang canal on Soi King Kaew 37 of tambon Racha Thewa in Bang Phli district, Samut Prakan. (Photo: Sutthiwit Chayutworakan)

The Department of Special Investigation has forwarded its investigation report on alleged corruption in awarding contracts worth 975 million baht for the installation of solar powered street lights in Samut Prakan's Bang Phli district to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) for consideration.

Deputy spokesman Pol Lt Col Woranan Srilam said the DSI received several complaints accusing the Racha Thewa tambon administration organisation of overpaying for the lamps.

There were eight contracts in total and all were awarded to the same company between 2019 and 2021.

The complainants said this seemed to be a breach of the Pricing of Goods and Services Act of 1999, which addresses issues of unfair pricing.

The DSI accepted the complaints for investigation as Special Case No 54/2021.

DSI investigators concluded there were grounds for the accusations, Pol Lt Col Woranan said. On Nov 30, the DSI forwarded its investigation report in 21 folders to the NACC for consideration.

However, since the NACC had earlier already set up a committee to investigate the graft accusation against the Racha Thewa TAO, the NACC could either accept the DSI report for further action or re-assign the DSI to complete the investigation – in compliance with Section 30 of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2018, Pol Lt Col Woranan said.

A DSI source said the Racha Thewa TAO awared eight contracts for the installation of solar-powered street lamps topped with a decorative kinnaree, a mythical half-man half-bird, in tambon Racha Thewa.

There were a total of 8,376 street lamps in the eight contracts, which were worth about 975 million baht in all.

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