Two senior officials from Thailand’s anti-corruption agency have been dismissed from their posts after an investigation revealed that they had amassed huge amounts of wealth in their bank accounts.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) announced on Monday that its deputy secretary-general, Prayad Puangchampa, and its director of foreign affairs, Piset Nakapan, had been found guilty of being “unusually wealthy” and had violated the law on ethical standards for state officials.
According to the NACC, Prayad had accumulated assets worth 658 million baht (US$21 million) in his bank accounts, some of which were kept abroad. He also failed to declare his assets and liabilities as required by law.
Piset, meanwhile, had assets worth 1.13 billion baht (US$36 million) in his bank accounts, which he claimed were from his family’s business. However, the NACC found that his income and expenditure did not match his declared assets and liabilities.
Where did all the wealth come from?
The NACC said that both Prayad and Piset had abused their positions and authority to obtain illicit benefits for themselves and their accomplices. They also tarnished the reputation and credibility of the NACC, which is supposed to be the country’s main watchdog against corruption.
The NACC said that it had forwarded the cases of Prayad and Piset to the Office of the Attorney-General for criminal prosecution. It also said that it would cooperate with the Anti-Money Laundering Office and the Revenue Department to trace and seize their assets.
The NACC’s president, Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit, said that the NACC would not tolerate any corruption within its ranks and would take swift and severe action against any wrongdoers. He also urged the public to report any suspicious activities or transactions involving state officials to the NACC.