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NACC chief withdraws from panel on Prawit wristwatch scandal

Jan 24. 2018
NACC President Pol Gen Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit
NACC President Pol Gen Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit
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By Kas Chanwanpen
The Nation

3,872 Viewed

Anti-graft President Pol Gen Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit will withdraw himself from examination of the case concerning Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan’s multimillion-baht collection of wristwatches.

Worawit Sukboon, secretary-general of the National Anti-Corruption Commission, announced at a press conference on Wednesday morning that Watcharapol had stated his intention at an NACC meeting the day before.

Watcharapol has been closely connected to General Prawit since 2014, when he served as deputy secretary-general of the Office of the Prime Minister.

After it became widely known that Prawit had in his possession up to 25 watches whose value far exceeded his earnings, citizens made it clear they didn’t trust Watcharapol to oversee an NACC investigation into the matter.

Prawit also failed to declare the watches to the NACC as valuable assets when he joined the Cabinet, as is required by law.

Worawit said the NACC had asked Prawit for a third time to provide further information about how he came to possess so many luxury watches.

General Prawit has said he merely borrowed the watches from wealthy friends. Now, Worawit said, the agency had arranged to interview several individuals Prawit named in connection with the matter.

He said the investigation should be completed by the end of February. If the watches do indeed turn out to belong to Prawit’s friends, he could not be judged guilty of concealing assets, Worawit said, but the NACC would consider other legal aspects of the case.

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