Thai DPM to justify possession of luxury watch and ring

This article is more than 12 months old

BANGKOK: Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan will submit an explanatory letter to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) today regarding his controversial possession of a high-end watch and diamond ring, according to a source close to him.

An unconfirmed local report also claimed that the retired general's ring was an inheritance from his mother while what looks like aRichard Mille watch worth millions in baht was borrowed from his businessman friend.

Mr Preecha Suwannathat, a former NACC member and one of its founding figures, said it would be difficult for Gen (Ret) Prawit to justify the watch's origin if he really had borrowed it.

"It just sounds too easy," Mr Preecha said.

"In that case, he will need to bring a friend to verify his claim.

"That friend will also need to tell the truth if he doesn't want to be guilty of providing false information to the NACC."

Last week, the NACC gave Gen (Ret) Prawit 30 days to justify his possession of the two extravagant items, which he wore when taking a group photo with the recently reshuffled Cabinet last Monday.

The photo of the 72-year-old shielding his eyes with his hand, displaying what appeared to be extremely expensive accessories, quickly caught the public's attention amid questions about how a lifelong military officer could afford such luxuries.

In relation to questions about his "unusual wealth", Gen Prawit also came under fire in 2014 when he entered the Cabinet after he failed to declare any assets worth more than 200,000 baht (S$8,300) to the NACC.

Possible estimates of the value of the Richard Mille watch he was wearing range from 4 million to 10 million baht. - BANGKOK POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK