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Environment Minister orders probe into National Parks Dept chief scandal


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BANGKOK (NNT) - DNP Director-General Rutchada Suriyakul Na Ayutya was arrested this week on a bribery charge. A fact-finding committee has been set up to handle this investigation, which Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa said will strictly comply with all related laws and regulations.


Further investigations will be made against all national park office directors. The fact-finding committee will also be requesting all the documents and supporting evidence related to this arrest. The arrest came after a complaint made by former chief of Kaeng Krachan National Park Chaiwat Limlikit-aksorn who claimed he had received threats after exposing the bribery scheme.


The position of DNP chief became vacant after Director-General Rutchada’s arrest. His replacement will be decided by the Permanent Secretary of Natural Resources and Environment.


An in-depth investigation into a bribery allegation against the chief of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) is being conducted. The move comes as the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment has promised the investigation will shed light on the matter.


Source: https://thainews.prd.go.th/en/news/detail/TCATG221230095638583


-- © Copyright NNT 2022-12-30

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it was the very same environment minister who nominated DPN chief several years ago.

That minister is the son of Banharn Silpa-Archa, godfather of one of the most corrupted clans in thai politics.


In yesterday's Bangkok Post there is editorial "Root out DNP corruption" with details of alleged proof of bribery in range of 18-30% of different budgets. 

Audits of this department were tempered for years. Sure, that minister would be aware of corruption on that scale.

So there are hundreds of officials implicated in this case, up to top of ministry. 

As to that whistleblower - he is charged with premeditated murder of Billy, Karen community activist in kraeng krachan park in 2014. So he is not clean as a whistle and likely just revange on his department boss, which let him down. 
Despite being charged with murder (the first charge in 2020 was dropped quickly), he is stil working at DNP as a civil servant, that against the governmental rules. 

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This whole incident is clearly part of a spat between high ranking officials.

The DNP is a political backwater for ministers and has been poorly run for decades.

It would seem that the circumstances surrounding this department are a perfect culture for corruption.


A symptom of how badly this place is run is the perpetual insistence of dual pricing for entry to NPs - it is quite clear that no-one of rank in the department has any interest in how the dept is run....nor do they have any interest in wildlife and conservation.


It would be nice to think that this "scandal" would result in a complete reform of the whole department - but I fear that is wishful thinking.


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