The National Anti-Corruption Commission has asked Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon to explain his two items of accessory–a diamond ring and an expensive wristwatch–that he was seen wearing during a photo shoot of new cabinet lineup at the Government House on Dec 4.
NACC deputy secretary-general Worawit Sukboon said after a meeting of the NACC to discuss Gen Prawit’s asset declaration that the deputy prime minister could explain in person to the NACC or in writing within 30 days of receiving a notification from the graft-busting body today (Dec 7).
The two luxury items were not declared when he assumed the office three years ago.
After Gen Prawit’s clarification of how he acquired the two items with the backup of evidence, Mr Worawit said the matter would be referred to the NACC board for consideration.
He assured that it would not take much time for the NACC board to finalize the matter because the case “is not complicated.”
Gen Prawit’s wristwatch which was described by watch experts as a Richard Mille timepiece–a brandname wristwatch for the rich and fabulous with a starting price of one million baht up to more than 60 million baht.
The NACC’s action followed a call by Srisuwan Janya, secretary-general of Thai Constitution Protection Association, for a probe of Gen Prawit’s acquisition of the diamond ring and the Richard Mille wristwatch which were not declared when he assumed the ministerial office in 2014.
Ruangkrai Leekijwattana, Pheu Thai Party’s legal team, also urged the NACC to investigate Gen Prawit’s wealth.
He said if Gen Prawit claims that he possessed the wristwatch and the diamond ring before taking the ministerial post in 2004, Gen Prawit must explain why he did not declare them to the NACC.
On the other hand, if he claims that he acquired them after taking office, he has to clarify their origins and evidence to the back up the claim, Mr Ruangkrai said.
Asked whether the NACC has checked Gen Prawit’s assets in the past four years which appear to be increasing every year, Mr Worawit said that NACC officials had been examining his assets as normal.
He asked the public to have trust in the NACC and assured that its probe into the deputy prime minister’s diamond ring and wristwatch would not be a whitewash.