Waterworks Authority Says Corruption Case Files Untouched by Fire

A fire hit the fourth floor of the headquarters of the Provincial Waterworks Authority Monday night.

BANGKOK — The Provincial Waterworks Authority said Tuesday that no documents pertaining to a recently launched investigation into corruption within the organization were destroyed in a fire Monday night.

Both police and an agency spokesman insisted no documents related to the corruption investigation were damaged in the Monday night fire which raged on the fourth floor of its northern Bangkok headquarters. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

No employees were injured as the fire started at about 6:45pm, after work hours had ended. The building, located on Chaengwattana Road, was closed Tuesday for a safety inspection.

After the blaze was brought under control Monday night, Bangkok Police Commander Sanit Mahathavorn said all documents involved in an internal corruption investigation were not in the burned area.

A former Democrat Party MP, Vilas Chanpitak, was the first to raise concerns about the documents. Vilas began calling attention to corruption within the waterworks office nearly a year ago and has filed a complaint with the National Anti Corruption Committee.

Authorities recently launched an internal review into complaints about corruption. A special committee forwarded seven suspected cases it found across the nation to state auditors.

The fire raised some concern that potential evidence in the cases was destroyed, an authority spokesman dismissed those concerns, saying important documents were saved in computer systems.

“It doesn’t affect anything because we already submitted those documents,” Thongchai Rayakunchorn told Channel 7 this morning. “And the documents have more than just one copy.”

The state enterprise operates under the Interior Ministry and is responsible for water distribution nationwide, except for most of metropolitan Bangkok.