Graftbusters go after ex-NOB chief's wealth

Graftbusters go after ex-NOB chief's wealth

The Anti-Corruption Commission plans to confiscate assets worth 575.1 million baht from former National Office of Buddhism director Nopparat Benjawattananan and seven others in connection with an unusual wealth case.
The Anti-Corruption Commission plans to confiscate assets worth 575.1 million baht from former National Office of Buddhism director Nopparat Benjawattananan and seven others in connection with an unusual wealth case.

The national anti-graft body is looking to confiscate assets worth 575.1 million baht belonging to a former National Office of Buddhism (NOB) chief and seven other people closely connected to him.

The planned seizure is in connection with an unusual wealth case.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) says it intends to forward the case to the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases, along with a recommendation that the assets be confiscated, NACC secretary-general Worawit Sukboon said on Wednesday.

He said former NOB director Nopparat Benjawattananan and the seven others had failed to convince an NACC panel where their wealth came from.

The unusual wealth probe against Mr Nopparat follows an investigation concerning his alleged involvement in a corruption case involving the renovation of Wat Phananchoeng Worawihan in Ayutthaya, Mr Worawit said.

The renovation project took place between the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years, during which time Mr Nopparat served as NOB director, said Mr Worawit.

Of the 575.17-million-baht in assets declared to the NACC by Mr Nopparat, 98.6 million baht, including 71.9 million baht in 13 bank accounts, were held by Mr Nopparat himself, said Mr Worawit.

Phatthanan Benchawatthananan, Mr Nopparat’s spouse, was found to have 196 million baht's worth including 122.9 million baht cash in 22 bank accounts, said Mr Worawit.

Another 131.4 million baht's worth, including 105.1 million baht in cash in 56 bank accounts, was held by Tharini Ditwatcharaphaisan, Mr Nopparat’s former wife, he added.

Thanarat Ditwatcharaphaisan and Phimphatson Ditwatcharaphaisan, their son and daughter, had 26.7 million baht and 68.3 million baht respectively in assets.

Waratthaya Phrommat, a grandaughter; Piyachat Sichan, a close aide; and Natthaphon Thun, the daughter of Mr Nopparat’s current wife, were found to hold another 500,000 baht, 4.5 million baht, and 49 million baht  in assets respectively, the NACC chief said.


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