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NACC could summon Prawit on watch scandal - or terminate probe

Mar 29. 2018
Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan
Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan
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By The Nation

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After four months of investigations, the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) will determine whether it will call Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan to provide testimony in person regarding his alleged possession of multiple luxury watches.

The “invitation” to the junta leader will be made if the NACC fact-finding committee concludes that they have insufficient evidence. The committee could also decide to terminate or continue the investigation.

The NACC has handled the case since December, when social media users started publishing photos of Prawit wearing luxury watches. About 25 watches that he has been photographed wearing are estimated to cost more than Bt30 million.

The watch collection, if determined to belong to the deputy premier and right-hand man of Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, would constitute evidence of Prawit’s “unusual wealth” given his official salary and also his concealment of assets from the NACC. He did not declare any assets worth more than Bt200,000 to the NACC when he joined the junta government in 2014.

NACC president Pol General Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit, who has previously worked closely with Prawit, has pledged that he will not be involved in the case.

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