BANGKOK - Military officials yesterday continued to inspect state rice stockpiles stored in provincial granaries and again found evidence that large quantities were missing or in poor condition.
The rice inspection follows the junta's order two weeks ago to close all granaries nationwide in a bid to check the size and quality of the stockpiles.
Granaries at Pathum Thani province were among several facing closer checks.
"After finding 90,000 sacks of missing rice at [Pathum Thani] granaries, I have ordered officials to investigate more thoroughly into reasons for the missing rice today," said Deputy National Police Chief Pol General Ake Angsananont.
In Phitchit, officials, after inspecting three rice granaries, found more than 200,000 sacks of rice (or 20,000 tonnes) could not be accounted for. A sack contains 100 kilograms of rice.
Inspection of granaries at Sirichai Intertrade found only 13,123 sacks of 5 per cent broken white rice in storage, compared to 214,196 sacks listed. However, some rice stored at the granaries had been marked for delivery to buyers and the stocks were closed to inspectors. Another check on granaries belonging to KTB Agro found records for 13,986 tonnes of 5 per cent broken white rice from the season crop of 2013/14 stored under the rice-pledging scheme. But inspectors could find only 8,928 tonnes, most of them broken rice.
A third granary will be inspected again today after it was found several rows of rice stored there had collapsed.
In Lampun, officials hoped to resume an inspection begun on July 4 after discovering the type of rice in storage was not the same as that listed on the records. The inspection team yesterday was not able to unlock the granary door, as a surveyor did not show up. According to the data, 3,854 tonnes of rice were delivered to the granary during June 13 and again on October 31, 2013.
Inspection of a granary in Uthai Thani, which belongs to Suwan Thanyakij Agriculture Mill, did not uncover anything unusual. It found 290,000 sacks of mainly 5 per cent broken white rice.
However, "after inspecting rice for three days, they found broken stock of an unusual colour which could not be explained", said an official.
At Surin, rice inspectors have been divided into four teams to check 101 granaries containing 8.3 million sacks. On this third day they had not found anything unusual about these stocks.