BANGKOK – An administrator of the crowd-sourced CSI LA Facebook page warned Friday that more of Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon’s luxury wristwatches will be publicly exposed if the National Anti-corruption Commission (NACC) fails to conduct a thorough and transparent probe.
The popular Thai-language page has published photos showing the regime’s No.2 man wearing 25 timepieces worth 39.5 million baht (US$1.24 million), prompting critics to question how he was able to afford them on the salary of a military man, and why he failed to list them among his declared assets.
Gen Prawit countered by saying they all belonged to friends of his and have since been returned. In a rare explosion of bluster he recently threatened to resign from the cabinet if the NACC finds him guilty of wrongdoing.
The anti-graft agency chaired by Pol Gen Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit must do its job properly or face the consequences, the administrator, who works as a data analyst in the US, told the Bangkok Post, requesting anonymity.
The source said the data released on the Facebook page was reliable and accurate, adding that all of the photos come from the official websites of the Thai government, Ministry of Defence and mainstream media.
Numerous activists have filed petitions and called for the NACC to broaden its probe to ensure that Gen Prawit is not concealing more assets or showing signs of “unusual wealth”.
“None of the photos released on my page were edited or Photo-shopped. All of the information and photos are reliable and accurate,” he said.
“There are more photos of undeclared luxury watches worn by Gen Prawit than I have already released, but I’ve chosen to stop at the 25th for now to see how NACC will exercise its power on this case,” he added.
The online sleuth said he will monitor how the case is progressing. If the NACC is seen to be helping Gen Prawit get off the hook he vowed to release more pictures to heap more pressure on the graftbusters and the politician.
Meanwhile, Pol Gen Watcharapol, a former subordinate of Gen Prawit’s, continues to face stepped-up calls to conduct a fair and impartial probe.
“The NACC must work as transparently as possible because this case is in the national interest and has drawn huge attention. But now it looks like the agency is trying to buy time,” the page administrator said.
He urged the commission to take into account some of the questions posed on the Facebook page, such as how coincidental it is that all of Gen Prawit’s “friends” have the same wrist size as he does.
“How can he tell the NACC he borrowed the timepieces from friends one or two years ago when some of the pictures were taken four or five years ago?” he asked.
“I think that his explanation to the NACC insults the intelligence of the Thai people.”
By Dumrongkiat Mala
The Bangkok Post