Defence Ministry orders a new probe into Rajabhakti Park scandal

Defence permanent secretary General Preecha Chan-ocha has been ordered by the defence minister to set up a fact-finding committee to probe into alleged irregularities concerning the construction of the Rajabhakti Park in Hua Hin.

Spokesman of the Defence Ministry Maj-Gen Kongcheep Tantravanich said Tuesday that Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan did not sit idly by regarding widespread doubt about the transparency of the park project and ordered a new probe into the controversy.

The new probe is separate from the one ordered by Army Commander-in-Chief General Theerachai Nakvanich which found the project transparent and that there was no corruption in the construction of the project.

Maj-Gen Kongcheep pleaded with the media not to jump the gun by implicating anybody of being involved in alleged corrupt practice until the findings of a new probe have been announced.

He said that the probe panel would look into every aspect about the project and would leave nothing in doubt.

But when asked about the alleged demand of kickback from the foundries contracted to cast the giant statutes of seven former Thai kings, the spokesman said that it was a private sector’s affair and that anyone of them who were demanded kickbacks should lodge a complaint with the police.

Despite the new probe and lingering suspicion, he said that the project which is not fully completed would proceed.

Meanwhile, Deputy Defence Minister General Udomdej Seetabutr, in his capacity as chairman of Rajabhakti Park Foundation, insisted on the transparency of the project.