Watchdog questions Supoj for three hours on sources of extra income
published : 9 Mar 2012 at 00:00
newspaper section: News
Three hours was not enough for Supoj Saplom to clear his name of "unusual wealth" concerns in testimony yesterday before the National Anti-Corruption Commission.
Commissioner Preecha Lertkamolmart said the panel questioned the permanent secretary for transport and his lawyer for more than three hours, but wants him to come back again.
Mr Supoj handed over 200-pages of documents to substantiate his claim that he had made his millions legitimately.
Preecha Lertkamolmart said Mr Supoj had yet to clarify the sources of his "extra earnings" which he has accumulated over the years.
Mr Supoj has been called back to testify again on March 26 and is required to appear in person. "The statement isn't complete. He has to testify in person about his extra incomes. He can't send his lawyer," Mr Preecha said.
Mr Preecha said the permanent secretary told the NACC he had a secondary job in construction design.
The NACC member said the agency needs more time to go through the document which Mr Supoj submitted to the agency, one hour before yesterday's meeting.
Mr Preecha said Mr Supoj defended his integrity and maintained he did his best to protect the state's interest.
He said the NACC will not look into claims Mr Supoj concealed his wealth until the unusual wealth allegation is clarified.
The NACC has asked the Anti-Money Laundering Office to trace Mr Supoj's assets and possible connections with private firms, he said.
Mr Preecha said the transport permanent secretary, who is currently on temporary assignment at the Prime Minister's Office, stuck by his claims that he lost about 5 million baht during a break-in at his home on Nov 12 last year.
The break-in triggered the corruption probe into Mr Supoj after the thieves claimed to have seen a vast sum of cash at his house.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Supoj said he earned his wealth in an honest manner. "I had secondary job. I was hired to do construction design. I did it for tens of years," he said.
Mr Supoj said he explained why he had decided to transfer 20 million baht in assets to his daughter after the NACC ordered his assets frozen.
He said he told how he acquired the assets and why he transferred them to his daughter despite the ongoing inquiry into his alleged unusual wealth.