The commander of an army region in the Northeast has warned of legal action against people who claimed to be farmers in order to exploit efforts now launched to help farmers to fetch higher prices for their crops.
National News Bureau of Thailand said Maj Gen Akaradej Boontiam, commander of the 25th Military Circle, has said anyone who pretends to be a farmer in an attempt to make money will be prosecuted according to the law.
Maj Gen Akaradej has instructed all military forces in Surin province to identify silo owners who have reportedly been selling their own rice by claiming that the grains came from the farmers.
He noted a certain group of middlemen in Bangkok had also been involved in this scam.
Some Bangkokians, who wanted to help the farmers, were led to believe they were buying the rice straight from the farmers when in fact the grains were actually from the silos.
Buyers in Surin are encouraged to a take picture of the farmer they are buying the rice from and submit the photo to the 25th Military Circle or relevant agencies if they want to make sure he or she is a real farmer. A secret investigation is also underway.
Meanwhile, Army Chief Gen Surapong Suwana-adth has ordered certain military units to crack down on people smuggling rice from a neighboring country into Thailand and to reach out to those farmers in need, according to NNT.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)