Four BMA officials sacked for graft in B39.5m 2016 New Year lighting scandal

Four officials of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) found guilty by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) of corruption in the 39.5-million-baht “Bangkok Light of Happiness” lighting project for 2016 New Year celebrations have been sacked, Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang announced on Friday (Nov 24).

Pol Gen Aswin’s announcement came after a BMA meeting to consider the NACC’s findings against the four officials.  The meeting resolved to sack the four officials as recommended by the BMA’s disciplinary subcommittee.

He said he had signed an order to sack the four officials, effective from Nov 24.

They were Pranee Sattayaprakop, former director of the BMA’s office of culture, sports and tourism; Thawatchai Janngam, former head of the tourism section of the office; Morakot Phumphanich; and Sitthichok Aphibal, a tourism development officer.

Although Ms Pranee is now retired, the dismissal order can take effect retroactively, Pol Gen Aswin said.

The Bangkok governor said the four can petition against the dismissal order with the BMA’s merit-system protection committee in 30 days.

The 39.5-million-baht event, intended to be a New Year’s “gift” from the former governor, featured a tunnel of coloured lights at Lan Khon Muang Plaza in front of City Hall on Din So Road. The lights were displayed for one month from Dec 30, 2015 to Jan 31, 2016.