Police officers around the country claim they have been cheated out of extra payments promised to them for special work carried out during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pol Gen Wissanu Prasarttong-Osoth, Inspector General of the Royal Thai Police, said initial inquiries have found these officers have not been fully paid the extra money they were promised.
“There have been irregularities in the disbursement of extra COVID-19 prevention payments to police,” said Pol Gen Prasarttong-Osoth, head of a committee looking into the matter. “Some police did not receive any extra at all and others have been asked to return part of their payments.”
Pol Gen Prasarttong-Osoth was referring to the special overtime rates offered to policemen who were sent to staff COVID-19 checkpoints or work extra hours during the prevention of the coronavirus.
Each officer was entitled to overtime at the rate of 60 baht per hour, up to a maximum of seven hours/420 baht per day. However, some police have complained they either received less than what they were they due or less than what they were entitled to.
Pol Gen Prasarttong-Osoth said the RTP found there was some truth in the allegations and the blame lay with administration officials in its Bursar Office, who make the extra payments.
“We need to find out whether the problem was due to cheating or just a mistake,” he said, pointing out the irregularities appeared to have only been for some individuals, not on a systemic basis.
He said the shortfalls affected police in Saraburi, Nonthaburi in the Central region, Surin, Loei, Khon Kaen and Maha Sarakham in the Northeastern region, Chiang Rai in the North as well as Phuket and Phatthalung in the South.
Pol Gen Prasarttong-Osoth said the inquiry team would need another 60 days to complete its job. If anyone is found guilty of cheating, the RTP would send their files to the National Anti-Corruption Commission.