Four ‘Lenders’ to Be Grilled Over Prawit’s Watches

By Bangkok Post 19 January 2018

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) will question four people linked to the scandal over luxury watches worn by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon.

NACC president Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit said Thursday the NACC has set the date for the questioning, which will be held at venues agreed upon by the individuals.

According to NACC procedures, the questioning can either be held at the NACC office or at other locations, Pol Gen Watcharapol said. But he did not give further details.

He said he had not yet seen Gen Prawit’s two letters explaining the luxury watches.

Pol Gen Watcharapol, former close aide to Gen Prawit, added the NACC’s Bureau of Asset Inspection in the Political Sector is investigating the matter before submitting the findings to the NACC main panel for consideration.

Asked whether Gen Prawit might have breached the rule that bars holders of political positions from receiving gifts worth more than 3,000 baht, Pol Gen Watcharapol said NACC investigators “are looking into the matter.”

Gen Prawit has taken flak for owning a large collection of luxury watches and not declaring them among his assets, sparking concern about how he was able to afford them on his military salary.

He told reporters at Government House on Tuesday that he borrowed all of the timepieces from friends and only wore them infrequently.

The watches have since been returned to their owners, he claimed, saying that he was ready to resign if the NACC concludes he has committed any wrongdoing.

The public heavily criticized him for the excuse, saying it was ridiculous.

But Supreme Commander Thanchaiyan Srisuwan said Thursday the armed forces still trust Gen Prawit and believe he will get through this problem.

Gen Prawit has been spotted wearing at least 25 watches worth about 39.5 million baht, according to CSI LA, a Facebook page that has been encouraging online sleuths to submit photos detailing the expensive trinkets sported by the regime’s “big brother.”