11 July 2024

Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission has faulted one of its senior officials for concealing his and his wife’s assets worth about 227 million baht.

NACC secretary-general Worawit Sukboon said today that the NACC had found that Mr. Prayad Puangchampa, a deputy secretary-general at the NACC Office, falsely declared his assets and those of his wife, Mrs. Thanipa, when he assumed the post on January 4th, 2017, with the intention of not declaring how his wife had acquired assets, including some located in London.

Informed sources say that the NACC opened a probe into Mr. Prayad’s assets after being alerted by the Anti-Money Laundering Office, which investigated the money trail of PTT Energy Company, a subsidiary of PTT Public Company in Thailand, related to its investment in oil palm plantations in Indonesia – a loss-ridden project.

The AMLO probe found that brokerage fees for land acquisition for the project were excessive and money had been transferred into the bank account of a Thai woman, who is the wife of a senior NACC official in Bangkok.

Worawit said that the NACC will now set up a panel to consider disciplinary action against Mr. Prayad, and whether to declare the official to be “unusually rich”.

For the time being, he said the NACC will submit the case to the Office of the Attorney-General with the recommendation that Mr. Prayad be charged with violating sections 158, 43, 81, 167 and 188 of the NACC Act.