NACC turns its guns on deputy chief Prayat
The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has recommended indicting its deputy secretary-general Prayat Puangjumpa for being unusually rich.
Mr Prayat was found by the anti-graft agency of having amassed vast wealth -- including a £4.5 million (168 million baht) townhouse in central London -- amounting to about 227 million baht, according to Warawit Sukboon, the NACC secretary-general.
The NACC accused Mr Prayat of concealing his assets by omitting them from his mandatory declaration to the NACC. The assets which were undeclared were found to have been held by Mr Prayat's wife, Thanipa.
The NACC divided the assets into six items, four of which were overseas. Two assets held in Thailand were a Kasikornbank bank account with 10,000 baht in it as well as 20,000 shares in the Palm Biz Corporation worth two million baht.
The four overseas assets are three bank accounts kept at Bangkok Bank's London branch with a total of £237,959.46 (about 10 million baht) in them and a townhouse on Kensington High Street in London worth an estimated £4.5 million.
Mr Warawit said on Thursday the NACC discovered 89 deposits had been made to the Kasikornbank bank account before Mr Prayat submitted his asset declaration to the commission on Jan 4, 2017. After that, another 88 deposits went into the account. The NACC was later alerted by the Anti-Money Laundering Office about what it thought were irregular financial transactions by Ms Thanipa. The NACC became suspicious Mr Prayat might be hiding assets or liabilities or he might have filed a false asset declaration.
Pleading a misunderstanding, Mr Prayat said that after making his asset declaration in 2017 he re-submitted it last year without any intention to conceal his assets.
Mr Warawit said Mr Prayat was invited to respond to the allegations against him. However, Mr Prayat denied he was given that chance. After reviewing the case, the NACC decided there were grounds to the asset concealment charge and recommended he be indicted.