BANGKOK – Thailand’s former director-general of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) Tarit Pengdith was on Friday (Jan 19) sentenced by the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions to three months in prison and a fine whopping of 5,000 baht after finding him guilty of concealing assets.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) indicted Tarit in the court after finding him intentionally concealed several assets while he served as the DSI chief during 2009-2014.
The assets that Tarit failed to declare to the NACC included four bank accounts worth over 5 million baht; investments in two companies worth over 6 million baht; property in Pak Chong district of Nakhon Ratchasima province worth over 20 million baht; and his spouse’s cashes in two bank accounts worth over 6 million baht.
Thai PBS reported that the court ruled in favour of the NACC, reasoning that as a DSI director-general, Tarit was required by law to declare assets to the NACC every three years. Tarit’s failure to do so was tantamount to assets concealment to avoid examination by the NACC.
The court initially sentenced Tarit to six months imprisonment and a fine of 10,000 baht. The court also banned him from assuming government office position for five years from April 3, 2017 when he ended his work at the Prime Minister’s Office.
However, due to Tarit’s confessions and the fact that he has never been jailed before, the court commuted his jail sentence and the fine by half to three months and a 5,000-baht fine. His jail sentence was suspended for two years.