BANGKOK: Four Thai officials have been dismissed after authorities found more than US$57 million in their bank accounts, with investigators calling the group “unusually wealthy”.
Corruption is rife in the Southeast Asian kingdom, with officials often accused of accepting small bribes and payoffs, but sums of this magnitude are rare.
The approximately US$57 million was discovered in multiple accounts held by three women and a man who worked in the revenue department in Samut Prakhan province near the capital Bangkok.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has referred the case to the attorney-general’s office and requested that the Criminal Court for Corruption also investigate.
The four were “unusually wealthy”, said Sornchai Chuwichian, assistant secretary-general and deputy spokesman of the NACC.
Their listed assets – including their bank deposits – did not match their government incomes, Sornchai said in an NACC statement on Monday.
None could explain the source of the money, Sornchai said.
The man, Danai Damrongchaiyothin, had US$31 million in seven accounts, while one of the women held more than US$14 million in five accounts.
A starting salary for a revenue official is less than US$450 per month.
All four have been dismissed from their government posts, according to the NACC statement. It did not mention whether they had been charged or arrested.