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    Abhisit to be questioned by DSI on police contracts

    Abhisit to be questioned by DSI on police contracts

    Published: 6 Feb 2013 at 17.04
    Online news: Local News

    Former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva will also be asked to testify about the abandoned contracts for police buildings approved during his government's tenure, Department of Special Investigation (DSI) chief Tarit Pengdith said on Wednesday.

    Mr Abhisit's former deputy prime minister, Suthep Thaugsuban, is already in the DSI spotlight over the failure of the single contractor to complete the construction of 396 police station buildings worth 5.84 billion baht and 163 police flats worth 3.7 billion baht.

    Speaking in the DSI's weekly press conference, Mr Tarit said his office had found evidence that eight construction firms had sent a letter to Mr Abhisit and Mr Suthep opposing the decision by the Royal Thai Police Office (RTPO) to give a single company the contract to carry out both projects nationwide.

    Originally, the RTPO planned to allow the Region 1-9 Provincial Police Bureaus to individually contract the work in their own areas of jurisdiction. It later switched to preferring giving the contract to one company. The company which won the bidding was PCC Development and Construction (PCC).

    Despite the opposition from the private sector, both Mr Abhisit and Mr Suthep still approved change, he said.

    "Since the new evidence also implicates Mr Abhisit, DSI investigators handling the case agreed to also invite him in for questioning, in addition to Mr Suthep, in order to be fair to all," Mr Tarit said.

    According to Mr Tarit, the eight construction firms strongly asked the two not to approve the change, arguing that doing so would be unfair to prospective regional and local contractors.

    They said if they approved the change, only one firm would benefit from the projects - to build 396 police stations and 163 apartments nationwide.

    The firms also cited the RTPO's past failure in contracting the National Housing Authority (NHA) to carry out a police housing project because the agency could not complete it by the deadline.

    Granting the contract to only one firm was tantamount to allowing bidding price collusion, they said, according to Mr Tarit.

    Mr Tarit said it was interesting that the first of the eight construction firms that sent a letter was PCC itself, which later won the two contracts as the sole builder of the two projects.

    He said the DSI lately received a complaint from five companies sub-contracted by PCC, saying that they had been cheated even though PCC had been paid more than 1.5 billion baht by the RTPO.

    The DSI on Wednesday sent a letter to national police chief Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew advising him to file a complaint against PCC for business fraud, Mr Tarit said.

    Thanin Prempree, director of the DSI's corruption prevention and suppression centre, said the DSI had asked the RTPO to quickly terminate the contract with PCC without waiting until it expires on March 14.

    He said the DSI feared that PCC might opt to be fined in order to get another extension of the contract and buy more time.

    The RTPO should terminate the contract so it could call fresh bids for the two projects, he said.

    Mr Thanin said PCC, in sub-contracting some of the work out to other firms, might have violated Item 8 of the contract.

    Asked whether PCC was linked to a construction contractor in Chiang Mai who is the father-in-law of a well-known politician, he said this was being investigated.

    The DSI has also invited three former national police chiefs in for questioning over possible irregularities in the projects. They are Pol Gen Patcharawat Wongsowon, Pol Gen Preteep Tanprasert and Pol Gen Wichean Potephosree

    BANGKOK POST

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    Re: Abhisit to be questioned by DSI on police contracts

    DSI eyes big catch in cop shop scam
    Mystery man at PCC tied to political honcho

    Published: 7 Feb 2013 at 00.03
    Online news: Local News

    The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) probe into corruption allegations over the bungled police station construction scheme will cover a key suspect said to be linked to an influential politician.

    Thanin Prempree, deputy director of the Bureau of Special Crime 2 of the DSI, said the DSI now had some information to establish a link between this suspect and the influential politician but needs to dig further into the matter.

    Mr Thanin was asked if the real owner of the building registered as the address of the head office of PCC Development and Construction Co, the sole contractor of the project, is an influential figure in Chiang Mai.

    He said he had reason to believe this is the case.

    Tarit: Will summon Abhisit and Suthep (AFP Photo)

    Mr Thanin said he could not reveal the name of the building's owner until the DSI obtains solid evidence to implicate him, but said the person is a very influential figure.

    The building is No.292/1 on the Chiang Mai-Lampang Road in tambon Pa Tan in Chiang Mai's Muang district.

    Piboon Udomsithikul is registered as president of PCC and his relative, Wisanu Wisetsing, is an executive of the company, Mr Thanin said. He strongly believes there is an influential figure behind them who is actually pulling the strings but is not listed as a shareholder of the company.

    The DSI is investigating irregularities in the drafting of the terms of reference (ToR) for the bidding in 2011 for the construction contract to build 396 police station offices and 163 police apartment blocks nationwide.

    In the initial ToR, Provincial Police Regions 1 to 9 were allowed to conduct their own bids to find contractors for their areas, Mr Thanin said.

    The DSI suspects senior Democrat Party figure Suthep Thaugsuban, who was deputy prime minister at the time, intervened to change the ToR so the entire project would go to a single contractor.

    PCC won the bidding with an offer that was 540 million baht less than the median price of 6.2 billion baht.

    The company was acting as a broker and later subcontracted the work to someone else, Mr Thanin said. The work has since been left incomplete and abandoned.

    The first and second installments of the construction work, worth 877 million baht and 600 million baht respectively, had already been paid to PCC, said Mr Thanin.

    "But we've found in our investigation that the subcontractors never received the money," he said.

    At least 10 subcontracted firms provided the DSI with information about the project and they are all being treated as witnesses, he said.

    Mr Thanin said he would recommend the Royal Thai Police scrap the contract awarded to PCC on the grounds that the company violated bidding conditions, which prohibited it from subcontracting the work. The police should not waituntil the contract expires on March 14 as PCC could then offer to pay a fine in exchange for renewing the contract.

    The contract has already been extended three times despite the lack of progress in construction, said Pheu Thai Party spokesman Prompong Nopparit. He said the police should sue PCC for compensation.

    A number of potential bidders had lodged a complaint with former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva against the bidding process change, said DSI chief Tarit Pengdith, but the appeal was ignored. He said he had obtained a copy of the petition.

    The DSI will summon both Mr Abhisit and Mr Suthep for questioning.

    The DSI has summoned three former national police chiefs - Pol Gen Patcharawat Wongsuwon, Pol Gen Prateep Tanprasert and Pol Gen Wichean Potephosree - for questioning on Feb 11, 13 and 15 respectively.

    Pol Gen Patcharawat said Wednesday he retired before the project was endorsed. Pol Gen Wichean said the project was approved before he became the national police chief.

    Pol Gen Prateep, who was national police chief at the time the project was approved, did not comment.

    Democrat spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut defended Mr Suthep.

    He said the Royal Thai Police changed the bid process.

    He dismissed allegations of price collusion in the bidding, saying Sam Prasit Co made the second lowest offer at 293 million baht below the median price, a very different offer compared to that of PCC.

    This could never be considered an act of price collusion, he said.

    BANGKOK POST

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    Re: Abhisit to be questioned by DSI on police contracts

    Most everyone, especially Thais, link politician = corruption. How can anyone truly believe that Abhisit is different? He is simply same same, better package. Unfortunately, for him, it seems that package is unraveling.

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    Re: Abhisit to be questioned by DSI on police contracts

    Panel: No graft in police stations
    Published: 14 Feb 2013 at 17.13
    Online news: Local News

    A police panel investigating alleged irregularities in the Royal Thai Police Office's (RTPO) project to build 396 police stations nationwide has so far found no evidence of corruption, Pol Gen Jate Mongkolhatthi said.

    Pol Gen Jate, an RTPO adviser who chairs the panel, said from a preliminary examination the investigators had so far found no evidence of irregularities in the project, unlike the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) which claimed it had sufficient evidence of corruption to treat it as a special case.

    He said every step of implementing the project, starting from the drafting of the terms of reference (ToR) to the bidding for the construction of the police stations, had been properly examined and certified correct.

    However, if the contractor, PCC Development and Construction Co, was found to have breached the contract or left the construction unfinished, a civil lawsuit must be filed to demand compensation for damage, Pol Gen Jate said.

    Without evidence of corruption, it was not possible for the RTPO to file a complaint with the police or DSI.

    Pol Gen Jate said his panel would try to complete the investigation as soon as possible.

    Chuvit Kamolvasit, the Rak Thailand Party leader, on Thursday said in a press conference he had evidence to show that there was a mistake on the part of the police for approving the extension of the contract in August last year in favour of the contractor.

    He called on Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew, the police chief, to show responsibility.

    Mr Chuvit also accused DSI chief Tarit Pengdith of trying to distort the case to protect wrongdoers.

    BANGKOK POST

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    Re: Abhisit to be questioned by DSI on police contracts

    Deal to build 396 new police stations was collusion, DSI chief says
    The Nation February 25, 2013 1:00 am


    The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has collected enough evidence to support a collusion case in regard to the bidding to build 396 new police stations countrywide, director-general Tarit Pengdith said yesterday.

    The probe report would be forwarded to the National Anti-Corruption Commission soon for prosecution, as the DSI had no jurisdiction over political office holders, he said.

    The report would also be submitted to police to determine if the winning contractor would be indicted on fraud charges, he said.

    Lead investigator Thanin Prempree said his panel would meet on Wednesday to spell out the charges for those involved in the alleged bid-rigging to be used as the basis for the NACC's review.

    Thawan Mangkang, another investigator, said he expected to summon the building company, which was required to construct all the new stations, to explain why it had hired subcontractors to do its work.

    If the company could not defend its practice, there could be a separate case for unauthorised outsourcing, he said.

    DSI sources said that before completing the case report, Tarit and the investigators would likely decide whether to single out just the politicians involved or also name certain top police officers as suspects.

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