How a wife pushed her husband into hall of shame
Natnicha Permthong-in was once seen as the "wind beneath the wings" of her husband Satien, former permanent secretary for Defence, but now she may have become a millstone of shame around his neck, sinking him to the depths of shame.
Natnicha, better known as Madame Ood, is a businesswoman and former politician of Ubon Ratchathani.
She was once considered one of the most powerful military spouses who did all sorts of manoeuvres to help her husband rise to a top position at the Defence Ministry. Reportedly, with his wife's help, Satien became the commander of development corps before rising to the post of permanent secretary.
But on Tuesday, when the National Anti-Corruption Commission announced its decision to seize Satien's Bt65-million worth of assets, Natnicha was looked at with suspicion as having played a key role in pushing her husband into the hall of shame.
The NACC alleged that Satien was unusually rich with more than Bt10 million credited to his account and over Bt100 million flying into the accounts of Natnicha and their daughter. Moreover, the mother and daughter also deposited huge sums in the bank accounts of Thammasat University lecturer Prof Dr Sombat Chantarawong.
Natnicha, who was born to an ordinary family in Angthong, became the mayor of Tambon Khamkwang Administrative Organisation and later married a senior military officer.
She was originally known as Karunaporn before she changed her name to Natnicha a few years ago after a fortune-teller predicted that this new name would help her husband become very powerful.
In her teenage years, Natnicha won a scholarship to study at a teacher's college in Ayutthaya, where she met Satien. At the time, Satien was an Army captain.
"He was very polite and people liked him at first sight. He was studying to be a staff officer. We dated for a few years before getting married in 1984," Natnicha recounted.
While Satien was stationed in Ubon Ratchathani, Natnicha owned a real-estate business there and also owned radio concessions in Ubon Ratchathani, Roi Et, Yasothon and Si Sa Ket.
She contested in the 2001 election as a New Aspiration Party candidate but failed. She tried again in 2007, but in vain.
In 2008, she pushed her husband to become the development corps commander and changed her name to Natnicha.
This was also the year she became mayor of the tambon administration organisation.
She holds three master's degrees and three bachelor's degrees. She was completing her doctorate at the Krirk University where she met Dr Sombat.