NACC boss and his political blink

24 01 2018

There’s been much criticism of Pol Gen Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit, the junta-appointed head of the National Anti-Corruption Commission, and his role in the investigation/attempted cover-up of the Deputy Dictator’s luxury watches.

As a subordinate posterior polisher, almost everyone knew that if he stayed in place for the “investigation” of General Prawit Wongsuwan, then the outcome was going to be flawed.

After more than a month of criticism and deepening and widening political criticism, The Nation reports that Watcharapol has had a political blink and “will withdraw himself from examination of the case concerning Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan’s multimillion-baht collection of wristwatches.”

Too little too late as Watcharapol’s fingerprints are all over the case. Even so, it is an indication that Prawit is in deep trouble.

At the same time, Worawit Sukboon, secretary-general of the NACC, announced at a press conference that “the NACC had asked Prawit for a third time to provide further information about how he came to possess so many luxury watches.” The NACC seems to come up with a different excuse each day for the failure to make progress. A couple of days ago they were awaiting the return from overseas of a “witness.”

Worawit did say that the “investigation should be completed by the end of February.”

And, then, presciently added: “If the watches do indeed turn out to belong to Prawit’s friends, he could not be judged guilty of concealing assets … but the NACC would consider other legal aspects of the case.”

If he is found to have concealed assets, the political costs will be high, but the legal costs will likely be minuscule. Just a few days ago, The Eel also known as the former Department of Special Investigation (DSI) director-general Tarit Pengdith received a suspended 3-month jail sentence and a 5,000 baht fine “for concealment of assets worth millions…”.


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