The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has launched an investigation into the construction business of Praween Chanklai, aka “Kamnan Nok”, to determine whether it was involved in price collusion when bidding for road construction projects or had attempted to intimidate other bidders.
Praween inherited the construction from his father, a former headman of Ta Kong sub-district in Mueang district of Nakhon Pathom province, who established the P. Raweekanok Construction Company, which reportedly won several road, building and bridge construction projects, as well as providing canal dredging and rental services in Nakhon Pathom and several neighbouring provinces.
Praween later set up another company, the P. Phatanarungrod Construction Company.
According to an informed source, the DSI is focusing its probe on the e-bids for two highway construction projects, namely Highway 375, from Don Toom district to Lum Look Bua sub-district, estimated to cost about 300 million baht, and Highway 346 in Lum Look Bua sub-district, estimated to cost about 350 million baht.
33 companies bought the bid forms, but only 3 submitted bids through the e-bidding platform for the Highway 375 project. For the Highway 346, 32 companies bought the bid forms, but again only three submitted bids.
The source said that P. Phatanarungrod won both projects.
The source also said that the DSI would invite representatives of the companies which bought the bid forms for questioning about why they did not tender their bids, whether they were intimidated by Praween or whether they were involved in price collusion with Praween, noting that each bid form is costly and it was strange that the companies did not submit bids.
Praween is currently being held in police custody on charges of involvement in the killing of a highway police officer and injuring another officer at his home in Ta Kong sub-district on September 6th, after the officer had refused his request for the promotion for one of his relatives, who is also a highway police officer.
Source: Thai PBS World