NACC scandal: Former Deputy Secretary-General’s shocking assets cover-up lands him in Supreme Court snare

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

The Supreme Court delivered a decisive blow to Prayat Puangjumpa, the former deputy secretary-general of the National Counter-Corruption Commission (NACC). Prayat’s appeal, aimed at overturning a false asset declaration conviction, was mercilessly rejected, resulting in a suspended jail sentence and a hefty fine.

The Supreme Court, in a plenary meeting, upheld the previous court’s ruling, affirming a four-month suspended jail sentence and a 10,000 baht fine for Prayat Puangjumpa. This ruling stems from a case where he intentionally omitted disclosing four overseas assets held by his wife, including substantial sums in three Bangkok Bank accounts and a lavish property on Kensington High Street, London.

Not only did the February 23 ruling cost Prayat his freedom and a substantial sum but it also resulted in his removal from the esteemed position of NACC deputy secretary-general. The court’s decision additionally barred him from holding any position within a state organisation for a staggering five years.

Prayat declared his assets to the NACC following mandatory procedures upon his appointment as deputy NACC secretary-general on January 4, 2017. However, Supreme Court judges remained unconvinced by his defence, which centred on claiming ignorance about his wife’s inability to transfer ownership of the contested property, reported Bangkok Post.

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The judges found it highly suspicious that Prayat’s wife had authorised the property’s sale to another company just a day before he submitted his asset declaration to the NACC. Their scepticism extended to his explanation for not declaring the London property and the substantial funds held in his wife’s bank accounts.

Prayat insisted that the property belonged to a company that had engaged his wife to hold it on their behalf, with a lucrative 10% commission. The court, however, found this narrative hard to believe, raising serious questions about the credibility of his reasons for concealing these assets.

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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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