Author Topic: Korat police investigating funeral welfare cooperative  (Read 827 times)

Offline Johnnie F.

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Korat police investigating funeral welfare cooperative
« on: December 11, 2016, 07:07:00 AM »
NAKHON RATCHASIMA: Police are investigating a large funeral welfare cooperative after members complained that money was not paid to the families of several members who died.

Concerns about alleged irregularities have mounted since a recent fire that destroyed some documents at the office of the Non Thai cooperative, which has 8,000 members. Some members suspect the fire might not have been an accident.

Residents from Non Thai and Pra Thong Kham districts on Saturday sought help from police at the Non Thai station. Pol Lt Col Thawat Boonkheha said officers would gather further evidence and coordinate with the provincial audit office to check money trail of the cooperative.

Documents and computers from the cooperative had been taken to the police station for examination, he said, adding that he intended to ensure justice to all sides.

Members of the cooperative pay fees of 1,800 baht a year and families are entitled to around 160,000 baht for funeral costs when a member dies.

Members told police on Saturday that they had asked the cooperative’s executives several times about missing payments but had not received clear answers. 

The residents handed their membership documents and other material to police to aid in the investigation of the cooperative's accounts.

Natthathicha Nakha, one of the members, said the documents of some members vanished or were damaged after the small fire recently at the cooperative’s office.

Families of several members who had died had not received the full amount of money to which they were entitled under their agreements with the cooperative, she said.

Some families received only 30,000 baht for funeral rites. The cooperative told them that it would pay the remaining amount exceeding 100,000 in monthly instalments, but failed to do so, said Ms Natthathicha.

She and two of her family members joined the cooperative in 2006, when the annual membership fee was 1,400 baht per person. In 2008 the cooperative increased the fee to 1,800 baht.

The family has now paid tens of thousands of baht to the cooperative and the sum would be much larger with compounded interest, but she said she did not know whether it would pay back the money to her.

As of Nov 22 this year, more than 8,000 people were members of the cooperative, said Ms Natthathicha. When a member dies, a family would receive 20 baht from each member, or 160,000 baht.

However, no families had received this amount, she said.

Waree Klomphet, 46, another member, said her mother passed away on Aug 23 this year and the cooperative paid her only 70,000 baht for funeral costs. She said she contacted the cooperative several times but received no explanation, and faced additional costs for a ceremony to mark the 100th day of her mother’s death.

Bangkok Post