THE ANTI-CORRUPTION panel is reportedly split over whether it should ask Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan to give an explanation in person over his ownership of luxury watches, a source at the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) said yesterday.
The source, who asked to remain anonymous, said panel members were debating the issue, with some thinking it would help facilitate an investigation, as panel members could ask him what they wished to know and “finish the matter”. Other members reportedly argued the time was not right.
A working group has already requested an explanation from Prawit four times, with the deadline for his answer is today, the source said, adding that the panel had not yet reached a conclusion on the issue, which has dragged on for months since the issue was first exposed in last December.
At that time, Prawit was seen wearing what appeared to be a silver and black Richard Mille watch and diamond ring during a group photo when the reshuffled Cabinet was photographed at Government House. Since then, people have examined other pictures and spotted up to 25 more expensive watches on his wrist on various occasions.
As a result, he has been accused of failing to report assets to the NACC as required by law and of possessing “unusual wealth”. After the issue was exposed online and in the media, the NACC launched an inquiry into the matter.
NACC president Pol General Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit reiterated that he would not take part in the probe after growing speculation that he would favour Prawit because the two had previously worked closely together.
NACC secretary-general Worawit Sukboon said yesterday Prawit had not yet submitted any further explanation as requested. The NACC was waiting for his response before considering whether to extend the deadline, he said.