Suphat Saquandeekul on Tuesday announced his resignation from the post of deputy director-general of the Department of Intellectual Property over the theft of three paintings from a hotel in Japan, explaining he was drunk.
Suphat Saquandeekul quits over theft of three paintings in Japan, saying he was drunk.
The disgraced senior Commerce Ministry official apologised for what he did.
Mr Suphat said in an email circulated to media outlets on Tuesday that he had been drinking with Japanese friends. He had been very drunk and had done "something inappropriate".
Mr Suphat hit the headlines last week after he was arrested on Jan 24 for stealing three paintings worth about ¥15,000 (4,600 baht) in total from a hotel in Kyoto where he had been staying while attending two conferences.
The paintings, which were taken from corridor walls, were found in his bags.
In his email, he admitted he was the senior official at the Commerce Ministry held for the theft of the three paintings from the hotel, as reported.
Mr Suphat said he had already compensated the hotel and apologised to the management.
As the hotel did not pursue legal action against him, Kyoto prosecutors dropped the case. He was later released.
He said was sorry his actions had tarnished the reputation of the Department of Intellectual Property, the ministry, Thai people and the country. He apologised to all.
Mr Suphat said he went out to party that night with Japanese friends he knew from when he was studying previously in Japan. He enjoyed seeing his old friends again, drank a lot and lost his senses. This led to him doing something inappropriate.
He had decided to take responsibility for his actions and officially tender his resignation from his job at the department, ending his 33 years in government service at the ministry.
Mr Suphat was due to retire at the end of September.
Commerce permanent secretary Wiboonlasana Ruamraksa said on Tuesday afternoon the disciplinary inquiry would continue even though Mr Suphat announced his decision to resign.
An initial investigation found the deputy director-general’s action tantamount to a serious disciplinary violation. His actions had badly affected the image of government officials and the Thai people, Ms Wiboonlasana during a media briefing.