The second phase of the “We Travel Together” tourism stimulus campaign may be scrapped over corruption fears, according to a source familiar with the matter.
So far, more than 200 people have been prosecuted for defrauding this and other government schemes to stimulate the pandemic-hit economy.
According to the source, plans to extend the “We Travel Together” campaign with another one million discounted rooms may be cancelled. Meanwhile plans to issue more Bt600 and Bt900 daily food and travel coupons under the scheme are on hold pending investigation of corruption.
PM Prayut Chan-o-cha was reportedly furious when he heard details of the graft while chairing Thursday’s meeting of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) executive. Afterwards he instructed Deputy Police Chief Piya Utayo to find ways of punishing the culprits.
He also sought the public’s cooperation in bringing the cheats to justice.
“Solving the problem of corruption is not just the responsibility of the state,” Prayut said after the CCSA meeting.
“All parties must cooperate – givers, receivers and service providers. They must help each other by providing information so that we can arrest these fraudsters,” he added.
Prayut pointed out that “We Travel Together” was aimed at helping hotel and other tourism-related businesses recover from the impact of the Covid-19 crisis. The PM and government agencies were scrambling to find budget and set up projects, only to see them end in corruption, he complained.