Tick-tock blow: Court fines NACC for Prawit watch probe

Photo courtesy of The Nation

In a significant blow to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) and its office, the Central Administrative Court has levied fines for concealing the results of its probe into former deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwon’s infamous watch collection.

Veera Somkwamkid, a prominent political activist, revealed the court’s ruling today, slapping both entities with a fine of 5,000 baht each for non-compliance. Moreover, the court has demanded the disclosure of investigation outcomes to Veera within 15 days.

Veera, leading the charge against corruption, threatened further legal action in a fiery Facebook post.

“You’re getting closer to prison.”

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The contentious case dates back to 2017 when Prawit’s ostentatious display of luxury watches sparked public outrage. Social media sleuths unearthed a trove of 22 luxury timepieces not declared in Prawit’s asset statement.

Initially brushing off the furore, Prawit claimed the watches were mere borrowings from a supposed close friend. However, this explanation failed to assuage mounting public scrutiny.

Veera’s relentless pursuit of justice culminated in a complaint lodged with the NACC Office in December 2017, triggering a chain of events that exposed institutional inertia and evasion, reported The Nation.

Despite the NACC’s 5:3 vote to dismiss the case in 2018, Veera’s dogged persistence led to legal victories culminating in the recent court order.

ORIGINAL STORY: Former deputy PM’s 87 million baht car collection revealed

Former Deputy Prime Minister and chairman of the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT), General Prawit Wongsuwon, has been exposed for his staggering wealth, including a fleet of luxury cars worth 87 million baht, as reported by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).

The NACC, responsible for scrutinising the assets of political office-holders and government officials, made public Gen. Prawit’s lavish holdings, sparking widespread media frenzy.

Leading the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP), the 78 year old’s financial declaration grabbed headlines, shedding light on his opulent lifestyle and extensive assets, as mandated by his role as SAT board chairman, which requires triennial asset disclosures.

Gen Prawit declared himself “single,” unveiling assets totalling 87.84 million baht, alongside a minor debt of 757 baht. His wealth comprised hefty bank deposits of 40.48 million baht, investments valued at 6.53 million baht, prime real estate in Bangkok and Pathum Thani worth approximately 10 million baht, and a collection of five luxury vehicles valued at 13.6 million baht, among other assets.

The Bangkok-born politician’s reported annual income of 2.34 million baht, including pension sums, living allowances, and previous governmental salaries, paled in comparison to the worth of his assets.

Of particular note were his luxury vehicles, notably a Jaguar I-Pace AWD HSE worth 4 million baht and a Mercedes Benz V250d valued at 2.5 million baht, acquired in June 2021 and June 2022 respectively.

Additionally, Gen. Prawit disclosed owning a TW Steel watch valued at around 15,000 baht, nine rings worth approximately 132,000 baht, and a trio of handguns, including a Colt, Sig Sauer, and Smith & Wesson.

This bombshell disclosure follows earlier controversies surrounding Gen. Prawit, notably the Supreme Administrative Court’s order for the NACC to divulge findings from an investigation into allegations of false asset declarations, stemming from a scandal involving a cache of luxury watches and rings, reported Bangkok Post.

Despite assertions that the watches were merely borrowed, the revelation has thrust Gen Prawit into the spotlight once again, raising questions about the true extent of his wealth and assets.

Bangkok NewsCrime NewsThailand News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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