Chadchart clarifies US luxury house
Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt on Wednesday said a luxury house in the United States was bought with his son's money inherited from the governor's mother.
Mr Chadchart explained the ownership of the house in Seattle, Washington during an episode of the Inside Thailand programme broadcast on the Mcot HD 30 channel, after a picture of the house was shared on social media.
The house has two floors with four bedrooms and three bathrooms as well as a lawn and trees around the house. It has a market value of US$2.2 million or around 72 million baht.
Mr Chadchart was asked if he declared his asset to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC). He said he did not mention the house earlier because he has not been involved in political affairs for eight years, so none of this information was recorded.
Ten years ago, Mr Chadchart and his twin brother, Chanchai Sittipunt, who is dean of Chulalongkorn University's Faculty of Medicine, inherited one-rai of land each in the Rama IV area from their mother.
Mr Chadchart said he had informed the NACC about the land inheritance, including how he had given the land to his son, Sanpiti Sittipunt. However, Mr Sanpiti had not reached the legal age at that time. The land was later sold and the money was used to buy the Seattle house in 2018 when his son went to study in the US.
The house ownership had been held by his wife, Poramintiya Sittipunt, before it was transferred to Mr Sanpiti on May 4 this year, he said.
"The data in the US is a public record, accessible to anyone. They can check how much money we spent to buy the house," he said. "I'm not worried about the scrutiny, but do not disclose private information like the address for safety reasons."
Mr Chadchart said he considered selling the house after his son graduated. But the agent suggested he transfer ownership as he could deduct taxes of up to 20% if he wanted to keep living in the US for more than two years. "I have all the evidence including the transaction, ownership transferral and court order to manage my son's money when he was young," he said.