Press "Enter" to skip to content

Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt Investigates Overpriced Gym Equipment Scandal in City Parks

Order Cannabis Online Order Cannabis Online

People use sports equipment at Wachirabenchathat park in Chatuchak district of Bangkok on Thursday. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)

Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt has admitted to finding unusual patterns in gym equipment procurement—like a treadmill that cost as much as a car— for two sports centres operated by City Hall. Mr. Chadchart addressed public suspicion on Thursday about the procurement for the sports centres at Waree Phirom Park in Khlong Sam Wa district and Wachirabenchathat Park (aka Suan Rod Fai) in Chatuchak district.

The governor vowed to intensify the investigation and assured that legal action would be taken against any officials found involved in wrongdoing. He emphasized City Hall’s commitment to administrative transparency. “I insist on being transparent,” he declared during a press conference held by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).

The issue came into the spotlight when the Strong Thailand Anti-Corruption Club posted an update on Facebook on Tuesday, revealing that the BMA spent approximately 10 million baht to procure 22 pieces of gym equipment for the two sports centres. Some equipment was purchased at prices significantly higher than the usual market rate, including an electric treadmill costing 759,000 baht and a spinning bike at 484,000 baht.

The club further claimed to have discovered more suspicious procurement practices at seven additional sports centres, totaling a cost of 103.2 million baht.

In response, Mr. Chadchart said that the BMA was collaborating with the State Audit Office (SAO) on its investigation, while also conducting an internal probe led by its anti-corruption committee. He mentioned that the BMA has long implemented measures to prevent corruption in procurement. Any desired goods and services must first receive approval from the Bangkok Metropolitan Council, which has 50 members. Each purchase must include a stated median price that can be verified by the public via an online platform of the Anti-Corruption Organisation of Thailand on their website.

The governor noted that the BMA aims to expedite the investigation to restore public trust.

Somboon Homnan, the deputy permanent secretary of the BMA, explained that procurements are done through e-bidding. Regarding the gym equipment, the BMA had conducted surveys to ascertain average prices with three sports equipment distributors, as dictated by law.

Sanon Wangsrangboon, a deputy governor, mentioned that the contractor providing the gym equipment to the BMA had been working with City Hall since March 2022, dating back to the tenure of its former governor, Pol Gen Aswin Kwanmuang. He informed that, according to information from the website, a treadmill at that time was priced around 600,000 baht.

The procurement agreement was signed in 2022, before the current administration took office in June of that year. However, he clarified that neither the procurement nor its process was connected to the former governor. The BMA plans to work closely with the SAO to provide all necessary information.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More from ThailandMore posts in Thailand »