Ministers from the previous government, plus senators and former senators have formally revealed their assets and liabilities, as required by law, which aims to detect any unusual change in a politician's wealth derived from their time in public office.
Information from some members of Cabinet who were involved in the rice pledging scheme, such as the former minister and deputy ministers of commerce, drew attention.
Based on the information released, the assets of some former Cabinet members may have dropped after they became part of the government. For instance, former deputy PM and ex-commerce minister Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan’s assets dropped from Bt137 million to Bt122 million after debt, while the assets of Nuttawut Saikuar, former deputy commerce minister, also fell by Bt1.6 million to Bt16.2 million.
However, the assets of Yanyong Phuangrach, also former deputy commerce minister, rose from Bt16.3 million to Bt17.3 million. His savings rose by Bt2 million, while his spouse’s bank account showed an increase of Bt1.2 million. They have no debts.
The former minister with most assets is former deputy PM Phongthep Thepkanjana with Bt2.9 billion, but that was a Bt163 million decrease from when he took office on June 30 last year.
Former deputy interior minister Pracha Prasopdee, a red shirt leader, reported Bt211 million, a Bt28 million decrease from when he took office.
Former interior minister Charupong Ruangsuwan reported Bt15 million in assets while former transport minister Chadchart Sittipunt reported wealth of about Bt15 million.
An investigation into former senators’ assets shows that they are significantly wealthier than former Cabinet members, with five of them having total assets worth up to Bt1 billion.
The wealthy senators are Willada Inchat, Pairoch Thungthong, Chusuk Sriraja, Somwang Apichairak and Sunan Singsomboon.
The assets of some senators also appeared to have risen by a modest amount.
Former deputy Senate speaker Surachai Liengboonlertchai announced his assets at Bt175 million after debt.