NACC investigates Supoj

Police have recovered about 16 million baht stolen from transport permanent secretary Supoj Saplom’s home and they suspect much more was in the house. Now the National Anti-Corruption Commission wants to know where he got it.

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NACC investigates Supoj

Police have now recovered about 16 million baht from suspects who were allegedly involved in a major cash theft from the Lat Phrao home of permanent secretary of transport Supoj Saplom.

From statements given by the suspects, they believe much more money had been stashed away in the house, possibly as much as one billion baht.

If it is discovered that Mr Supoj was hiding a huge amount of cash in his home, he could be in trouble. As a high-ranking government official he is required to report his assets to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) and if the money was not previously declared, he will have a lot of explaining to do.

NACC commissioner Wicha Mahakhun confirmed yesterday the agency would consider Mr Supoj's case today and would exercise its new powers that include protecting witnesses, examining assets, tracing money and seizing assets.

A senior source at the NACC said Monday the commission was expected to investigate Mr Supoj over suspicions he obtained an unusual amount of wealth through dishonest means and concealed it from the state.

According to the source, Mr Supoj has declared his assets 16 times since becoming permanent secretary and taking other jobs as a director of various state enterprises.

He might explain the cash stolen from his house was acquired after he made the declarations, but his complaints about the lost money have so far been inconsistent.

The source said Mr Supoj initially told the police he lost 1 million baht in the robbery, but later reported a loss of 5 million baht in cash, which he claimed was a dowry from his daughter's marriage.

However, investigators have so far seized 16 million baht from the suspects. The discrepancy could mean that he has been trying to conceal his wealth, the source said.

The source quoted the suspects who were arrested as saying they had found a large amount of banknotes in bags and cardboard boxes in Mr Supoj's bedroom.

Adapted from a story in today's Bangkok Post by Nattaya Chetchotiros, Amornrat Mahitthirook and Wassayos Ngamkham. You can read the full story here:

National Anti-Corruption Commission – An independent government organisation to investigate corruption carried out by government officials ปปช. (สำนักคณะกรรมการป้องกันและปราบปรามการทุจริตแห่งชาติ)
investigate – to try to find out the facts about something in order to learn the truth about it ตรวจสอบหาความจริง
recover – to get something back that has been lost or stolen ได้กลับคืนมา
suspect – a person who is thought to have committed a crime ผู้ต้องสงสัย
allegedly – claimed to have done something wrong, but not yet proven ที่กล่าวหา
cash – money in the form of notes or coins เงินสด
theft – (the act of) dishonestly taking something which belongs to someone else and keeping it การลักขโมย
stash – to store or hide a large amount of something เก็บไว้, ซ่อนไว้,
discover – to find somebody/something, or learning about something that was not known about before ค้นพบ
high-ranking – senior; important ที่อยู่ชั้นสูง
assets – things owned by a person, company etc., particularly money and property ทรัพย์สิน
declare – to tell the tax authorities or other government agency how much money or other assets you have or have have earned  แจ้ง, เปิดเผย
commissioner – a member of a commission, a group of people who have been formally chosen to discover information about a problem or examine the reasons why the problem exists กรรมาธิการ  ผู้ได้รับมอบหมายอำนาจหน้าที่
consider – to give careful thought to something before making a decision พิจารณา
exercise – to use your power or rights ใช้อำนาจ
witness – someone who tells a court or investigators what they know about a crime พยาน
trace – to follow the evidence to find out something ตามรอย ตามทาง
seize assets – to officially take away things own by a person or organisation, e.g., money, equipment, property, etc. ยึดหรืออายัดทรัพย์สิน
senior – with a high rank or position อาวุโส
source – someone who gives information แหล่งข่าว
suspicion – a belief that a crime has been committed ความสงสัย
obtain – to get something that you want or need, especially by going through a process that is difficult ได้มา, ได้รับ
means – methods; ways วิธี, วิธีการ
conceal – to hide something  ซุก ซ่อน
state – government รัฐบาล
state enterprise – a company or business owned and managed by the government รัฐวิสาหกิจ
inconsistent – if two statements, etc. are inconsistent, or one is inconsistent with the other, they cannot both be true because they give the facts in a different way; tending to change too often; not staying the same ซึ่งขัดแย้งกัน, ซึ่งไม่สอดคล้องกัน
initially – at first ในเบื้องต้น
dowry – money and/or property that, in some societies, a husband must pay to his wife's family when they get married ; money and/or property that, in some societies, a wife or her family must pay to her husband when they get married; สินสอดทองหมั้น, สินสมรส
discrepancy – a difference between two or more things that should be the same ความแตกต่างกันระหว่างสองสิ่งที่ควรจะเหมือนกัน
banknote – paper money ธนบัตร