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PAT officials and union demand a probe into conduct of board chairman

Buses taking about 200 officials of Port Authority of Thailand to the Transport Ministry to lodge a complaint with the transport minister were forced to turn back by police on Tuesday.

But the defiant PAT officials went to the ministry anyway with their own transport, vans and taxies to submit their petition to demand an investigation into the conduct of the PAT board chairman, Admiral Apiwat Sriwattana, over the awarding of a contract for the handling of containers onto trains at Laem Chabang deep-sea port without public bidding.

They claimed that the contract was awarded to a relative of the secretary of the board chairman who has no past experience in this business whereas there are six companies which have expertise in this field, but they were not chosen.

Meanwhile, president of PAT labour union, Mr Rashen Rangmareng filed a separate petition with the deputy transport minister demanding clarification about the recent resignation of PAT director Mr Sutthinant Hatthawong whether the matter had something to do with the board chairman.

Rashen also called for a probe into procurement deals in PAT.

Deputy Transport Minister Pichit Akarathit said the ministry would look into the petitions by the officials and the union, but he stated that the ministry must be fair to all parties concerned.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)