Prawit on his own in watch row
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha appeared on Tuesday to distance himself from his scandal-embroiled deputy, Gen Prawit Wongsuwon, saying the declaration of his luxury watch and diamond ring were his personal matters.
The prime minister said no one can protect Gen Prawit as he must explain the acquisition of those assets to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).
Gen Prayut was commenting on calls for the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to suspend Gen Prawit, who also serves as the minister of defence, over his failure to declare the pricey timepiece and ring to the commission.
During a press interview, Gen Prayut also produced his Seiko wristwatch valued at 250,000 baht before the media, saying: "Is it 'Ko' [Cool] when it's on me? I've worn this watch for a long time. It still functions well. If the public is interested in my watch, next time I might wear another one around my neck, but it will be an alarm clock."
He declared the Seiko watch to the graft-busters, he said. According to Gen Prayut's asset declaration to the NACC on Sept 4, 2014,, he has nine pricey timepieces in his possession. Besides the Seiko presented before the media, the remaining are a Patek Philippe with white gold body worth 900,000 baht; another Patek Philippe costing 600,000 baht; a Rolex Oyster Perpetual valued at 350,000 baht; a Rolex with gold body costing 150,000 baht; and a Rolex with a steel body worth 250,000 baht.
The others are a Panerai Radiomir with white gold body worth 200,000 baht; a Panerai Radiomir worth 150,000 baht; and a Breitling valued at 150,000 baht.
Also Tuesday, the Facebook page CSI LA shared an image of Gen Prawit wearing his fourth wristwatch, a Patek Philippe 5960/1A worth around 1.5-1.6 million baht. Earlier, the admin also posted images of Gen Prawit with his second and third wristwatches: a Richard Mille and Rolex costing several million baht in total.
NACC secretary-general Worawit Sookboon said the deputy prime minister has until Jan 8 to submit his declaration to the commission.