Charupong fails to report assets, may face court
FORMER Interior minister Charupong Ruangsuwan has failed to report his assets and liabilities after leaving office and could risk a political ban or other penalties, a senior official of the anti-graft agency said yesterday.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission has sent Charupong, who has been living in exile overseas since the coup, three letters over the past two months, informing him about his legal obligation to submit a financial statement with the agency.
However, Charupong has yet to reply to the reminders, according to Thawatchai Sirisathanaphan, director of the NACC’s Political Sector Assets Examination Office.
Thawatchai said if Charupong failed to meet the deadline, the NACC would consider whether his act was intentional. If it was deemed intentional, the NACC will bring his case to the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders.
If found guilty, Charupong could risk a ban of five years from politics, a maximum jail term of six months, or a fine of up to Bt10,000, according to the official.
The NACC yesterday disclosed the assets and debts of former members of Yingluck Shinawatra’s cabinet, who left office after the coup on May 22 last year.
As of yesterday, Charupong was the only member of Yingluck’s 25-strong cabinet who had failed to submit a financial statement, Thawatchai said.
Former deputy prime minister Pongthep Thepkanchana is the richest of the ex-ministers, with assets worth Bt2.93 billion, according to his filing with the NACC.
Former deputy finance minister Thanusak Lek-uthai had the least assets, worth some Bt1.43 million.
Pongthep’s assets fell by Bt151 million while he served as a deputy prime minister. This was the biggest reduction among the ex-cabinet members.
Former transport minister Chatchart Sithiphan saw his assets increase Bt54 million during the same period, which was the biggest rise.
Meanwhile, 150 former senators also submitted their financial statements to the anti-graft agency.
Pilaipan Sampatisiri’s assets were worth the most, at Bt1.31 billion, while Wiriya Thongphahas’ assets were put at just Bt3,407 – which was the least.