PM wants to sell gift puppies

PM wants to sell gift puppies

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha says he wants to sell the expensive puppies which he bought during a mobile cabinet trip for himself and two senior cabinet members.

Anti-graft activist Srisuwan Janya filed a petition with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) on Monday against the prime minister for allegedly giving inappropriate gifts.

Gen Prayut bought the puppies from a group of breeders of Bang Kaew dogs in Phitsanulok on Dec 25.

One of the puppies was intended for him and the other two were for Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda and Deputy Prime Minister Chatchai Sarikulya.

The total price of the three puppies was 25,000 baht (8,333 baht apiece) though the market price was 6,000 baht for each puppy. Gen Prayut said the extra money was meant to encourage the local breeders.

The complaint lodged by Mr Srisuwan with the anti-graft agency also includes Gen Anupong and Gen Chatchai. It alleges the two violated Section 103 of the Prevention and Suppression of Corruption Act, which prohibits political office-holders from receiving gifts with a value of more than 3,000 baht.

According to an NACC announcement, if a political office-holder is the recipient of a gift and needs to accept it to maintain important ties, they must inform their superior and seek their permission, or return the gift.

If the receiver is a top agency official or higher, they must inform and seek permission from those with the power to appoint or impeach them, or the NACC.

The prime minister said yesterday he had not yet taken delivery of the animals.

Meanwhile, Gen Anupong said he would not accept the puppy from the prime minister as he realised the price tag meant it would be a violation of the law.

Sutthi Boonmee, an NACC director, said the law only focuses on the receiver when it comes to wrongdoing of this nature.

He said the NACC will investigate whether Gen Anupong and Gen Chatchai have informed their agency of the gifts, and whether the dogs are now at their respective homes.

Bang Kaew ranks as one of the country's most famous dog breeds, originating in Phitsanulok province.

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