Thai anti-corruption commission to probe DPM over luxury watch, diamond ring

Thai-anti-corruptionBANGKOK: Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission will ask Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon to explain the luxury watch and diamond ring he wore during an official function recently.

NACC chairman Watcharapol Prasarnratchakij said a letter would be sent to Prawit soon asking him to explain the two items, which were not listed in his asset declaration prior to him taking office in 2014.

“We want to know how he acquired them and whether there’s evidence of the purchases or inheritances,” he was quoted as saying by the local media here Friday.

Prawit, who is also the defence minister and a senior member of the military-led government, was seen wearing the two luxury items during a photo session of the new cabinet last Monday.

The photo of him wearing the ring and the luxury watch, which the media speculated to be Richard Mille estimated to be worth between 4 million Baht (about RM516,000) and 10 million Baht (about RM1.3 million), caused an uproar among the media and invited public criticism.

According to the local media, the luxury watch was also worn by the world’s top tennis player, Rafael Nadal.

The deputy prime minister, when confronted by the media recently, said he would give the information about the two items to NACC as required and would not entertain questions from journalists on the matter.

Meanwhile, questions have also been raised whether Watcharpol, who was a former aide to Prawit, will be able to probe his former boss.

Watcharpol said the investigation would be conducted according to the law and any NACC commissioner who had a conflict of interest would be barred from joining the probe.