BANGKOK – Thailand’s Ministry of Defense has described an article as fake news from an overseas-based website which named Deputy Prime Minister Gen.Prawit Wongsuwan, also “Defense Minister”, as being among Asia’s 45 richest people.
Ministry spokesman Lt-Gen Kongcheep Tantrawanich said Monday that the report is fake news and lacks supporting evidence or reference and demanded that the administrator of www.investing.com disclose the source of its information about General Prawit’s alleged wealth and publish accurate information to dispel public suspicion.
The story was published in 2018 (now removed), it was only recently widely shared on Thai social media.
The spokesman said the website is reportedly operated by a company known as “Fusion Media” which is registered on the British Virgin Islands.
The report of Prawit’s wealth has become a subject of widespread criticisms on the social media, with many netizens questioning how the deputy prime minister could amass such alleged wealth, despite the fact he was a career military officer until he moved into government.
Lt-Gen Kongcheep said he believes the Thai media have appropriate professional ethics and good judgement to decide whether or not to disseminate such report without first checking its accuracy and the credibility of the sources.
Without naming names, the defense spokesman warned certain elements, who shared the report on the social media, to stop or face legal consequences.
In December, the National Anti-Corruption Commission outraged the public after it cleared the 73-year-old retired general of wrongdoings for possessing a collection of watches worth tens of millions of baht, arguing it wasn’t illegal for Prawit to borrow the watches from his friends.
By Thai PBS