Piyabutr says NACC bungled Prawit case

Piyabutr says NACC bungled Prawit case

Progressive Movement co-founder Piyabutr Saengkanokkul yesterday accused the National Anti-Corruption Commission of undermining anti-graft mechanisms.

Mr Piyabutr said the NACC's handling of the luxury watch scandal against Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon would render the asset declaration law ineffective in suppressing graft.

Mr Piyabutr shared criticism on his Facebook in response to an NACC letter to former senator Ruangkrai Leekitwattana on its investigation into alleged wealth concealment by Gen Prawit. Mr Ruangkrai filed a complaint to initiate the probe.

In its letter, the NACC, which cleared Gen Prawit of wrongdoing in December 2018, insisted the deputy premier did not have to declare luxury watches to the agency upon assuming his cabinet post in 2014 because they were categorised as borrowed items.

Mr Piyabutr said the NACC's ruling in the case undermined mandatory asset declarations, one of the tools to fight corruption and promote transparency.

He said politicians and state officials were known to use nominees to hide their assets but the luxury watch case seemed to hand them a quick fix.

"Assets like jewellery, luxury watches or sports cars wouldn't have to be declared if they can find rich friends to claim their ownership," he said.

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