Savers call in DSI over rail co-op deal

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has been asked to look into alleged embezzlement estimated at about 2 billion baht from the State Railway of Thailand savings cooperative.

In the petition, lodged by cooperative members, a former chairman of the savings cooperative and five other people are accused of violating loan processing regulations and swindling money from members.

The move comes after the Department of Cooperative Promotion revealed in December last year there were irregularities in the way the cooperative was run.

According to the department, the cooperative granted a total of 199 loans worth 2.285 billion baht between 2012-2017 to six people while regulations said the loan per borrower should not exceed 15 million baht.

Kingkaew Yommuang, a savings cooperative representative, said the loans in question were originally for a land procurement project to build accommodation for cooperative members.

However, it turned out the money was used to purchase 19 plots of land covering 82 rai which was instead developed into a resort-style project with 102 newly allocated plots at an investment cost of 200 million baht, he said.

According to Mr Kingkaew, the land in Phetchaburi’s Kaeng Krachan district, is not ideal for a housing project.

Kirksak Sakmuang, a cooperative member, said the former chairman claimed the loans would be spent on a housing project for its members but it turned out to be a resort development project.

He said the resort project cost about 200 million baht and members were concerned about the rest of the money.