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NACC faces critical test over wristwatch scandal


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NACC faces critical test over wristwatch scandal

By THE NATION

 

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Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan

 

PRAWIT’S EXCUSE ABOUT BORROWING WATCHES WIDELY PANNED AS CRIMINAL CASE PROPOSED

 

THE BALL is now in the court of the national anti-graft agency as calls grew yesterday for it to take decisive and transparent action over the luxury-watch scandal involving Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan.

 

Government critics remain unconvinced by Prawit’s claim that the many luxury watches he has been photographed wearing in recent years actually belonged to his friends.

 

Mana Nimitmongkol, secretary general of the Anti-Corruption Organisation of Thailand, yesterday called on the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to bring Prawit’s case to the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases. 

 

In an article published on the Isra News website, Mana said he believed the court would “make all the facts known”.

 

He called on the NACC to conduct in-depth investigations into the controversy to determine the real owners of the watches, and refer the case to public prosecutors for further legal action if any wrongdoing was suspected.

 

Mana said Prawit’s unconvincing claim had made “it seem the government’s responsibility and consciousness has completely gone in the eye of the public”.

 

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Srisuwan Janya

 

Srisuwan Janya, secretary-general of the Association for the Protection of the Thai Constitution, also said in a Facebook message that Prawit’s excuse was unconvincing. 

 

The whistle-blower said such expensive wristwatches were normally customised to the wearer’s wrist size and their owners would not allow others to wear them and taint them with sweat and body odour. 

 

Srisuwan also said that if Prawit insisted on his claim, the NACC should summon all of the supposed owners to make sure that the watches were customised for them. 

 

If they are the true owners, they should be able to wear the watches comfortably, he added.

Meanwhile, Pheu Thai Party yesterday asked Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha whether he really was convinced by Prawit’s explanation regarding the luxury watches.

 

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Anusorn Iamsa-ard

 

Anusorn Iamsa-ard, caretaker spokesman for the former ruling party, said such an explanation was “not beyond expectations” but he wondered whether the public would believe what Prawit had said.

 

“This issue could adversely affect the government. When he hears about this explanation, does General Prayut Chan-o-cha, the prime minister and National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) head, find it acceptable? Does he have friends who can lend him so many watches?” Anusorn said.

 

Prawit has been spotted wearing as many as 24 expensive watches since the junta came to power in May 2014, many of them valued at millions of baht. He submitted a written explanation to the NACC but it has not been disclosed to the public. 

 

Faced with mounting pressure, Prawit on Tuesday told the media that he had borrowed all the watches from his friends and already returned them all. He also pledged to resign if the NACC found him guilty.

 

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Abhisit Vejjajiva

 

Meanwhile, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday reiterated his call for the government to deal with the wristwatch controversy with transparency and good governance. He said that Prayut should set a political standard.

 

The former prime minister said in his government some Cabinet members resigned following scandals involving their ministries, even though they were later found to be innocent. 

 

He called on Prawit to step down to prevent the scandal from undermining the government, but this call was described by Prayut as “political discourse” and an attempt to gain a political advantage. Abhisit also said he was simply concerned about the government’s image. 

 

“I want to see a clear explanation to the public. If suspicions remain and this is allowed to continue, the government will end up lacking confidence and support from the public,” he said. “At least the prime minister and General Prawit should talk and find out what to do to prevent this issue from impacting the government’s credibility,” Abhisit added.

 

In a related development, the NCPO said it would not summon Srisuwan for “attitude adjustment” despite his recent political activities. 

 

NCPO spokesman Maj-General Piyapong Klinphan said yesterday that Srisuwan had not committed any wrongdoing but he added that the NCPO was monitoring Srisuwan’s actions.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30336518

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2018-01-18
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Not really facing a critical test...

They cover up what ever they want to cover up.

Just the fact that they even consider "attitude adjustment" says it all...

 

No-one really cares anyway.. Rich Thais will always bend the rules to suit themselves. People in power will always have their noses in the trough.

 

Everyday Thais just get on with their lives....

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I hear that they may check the serial numbers to see if the taxes were pay on the items. I doubt that this will happen as

one may find out who bought and insured the time pieces. I can see him going as there is no honor among thieves.

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I really am enjoying this whole show. I think whatever outcome it will still be a win for people who want the junta out. If the official outcome is that Prawit borrowed the watches and no wrongdoing was committed, that will surely massively hurt their image. It's obvious they're corrupt. 

 

If Prawit is let go or resigns, that's also good. One down so to speak. Him resigning is really the best option for the junta. But will his ego allow him to take one for the team?

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18 minutes ago, canuckamuck said:

If Prayut threw Prawit under the bus on this one he would actually gain a shred of credibility. Anything is possible in an election year.

Not a chance in hell unless a cunning ruse Prawit agrees with is hatched. Prawit is the boss, far more powerful than Prayut imo.

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3 minutes ago, smutcakes said:

Not a chance in hell unless a cunning ruse Prawit agrees with is hatched. Prawit is the boss, far more powerful than Prayut imo.

I think Baldrick had a better grasp of cunning than these two but I wouldn't be surprised to see some kind of stunt.

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42 minutes ago, webfact said:

If they are the true owners, they should be able to wear the watches comfortably, he added.

Imagine if they all had the same wrist size.......although it's blatantly obvious who they all belong to.

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4 minutes ago, canuckamuck said:

I think Baldrick had a better grasp of cunning than these two but I wouldn't be surprised to see some kind of stunt.

This whole watch saga is a rookie error from Prawit (if indeed the issue cannot be put to bed satisfactorily), who i believe is a very shrewd operator in the darker arts of politicking. I remember one news outlet describing him once as, the preeminent world authority on coups or words to that affect.

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28 minutes ago, smutcakes said:

Not a chance in hell unless a cunning ruse Prawit agrees with is hatched. Prawit is the boss, far more powerful than Prayut imo.

Both from different camps with loyalty to different masters. They cancel off each other in terms of power. Prayut does have a slight edge in power by virtue of his allegiance. Prawit no light weight and will hang on unless his master tell him to take a fall. How he take the fall will be the highlight to watch and who replace him will be highly interesting as well as telling which camp finally grasped power. 

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57 minutes ago, canuckamuck said:

If Prayut threw Prawit under the bus on this one he would actually gain a shred of credibility. Anything is possible in an election year.

Election year? Who told you that?

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25 minutes ago, smutcakes said:

This whole watch saga is a rookie error from Prawit (if indeed the issue cannot be put to bed satisfactorily), who i believe is a very shrewd operator in the darker arts of politicking. I remember one news outlet describing him once as, the preeminent world authority on coups or words to that affect.

Don’t think it is rookie error but just sheer arrogance and power that have intoxicated him to feel invincible. Past shenanigans like the Hawaii trip and junta corruptions have not stick nor registered poorly with the public. Always a breaking point whereby the junta stretched their arrogance too much for a public backlash. This finally broke the straw and will snowball. Hallelujah.

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Man-years ago, in my insurance days, we insured an expensive wristwatch belonging to a minor celebrity. The celebrity made a claim, stating he had had his watch stolen after a late-night mugging on the New York subway. Difficult to prove but we had private investigators on this case, knowing something was suspicious. We were close to paying out when the celebrity made the mistake of wearing the watch on a TV programme! Not only did he miss out on his insurance payout he was also found guilty of fraud.

 

What has this got to dimwit Prawit's case? Absolutely nothing, but the moral is be careful what you wear on your wrist in public.

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1 hour ago, rkidlad said:

I really am enjoying this whole show. I think whatever outcome it will still be a win for people who want the junta out. If the official outcome is that Prawit borrowed the watches and no wrongdoing was committed, that will surely massively hurt their image. It's obvious they're corrupt. 

 

If Prawit is let go or resigns, that's also good. One down so to speak. Him resigning is really the best option for the junta. But will his ego allow him to take one for the team?

The obvious thing to do would be to step down for, ahem, 'health reasons', but whether or not his ego would allow him to is another matter.

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1 hour ago, rkidlad said:

I really am enjoying this whole show. I think whatever outcome it will still be a win for people who want the junta out. If the official outcome is that Prawit borrowed the watches and no wrongdoing was committed, that will surely massively hurt their image. It's obvious they're corrupt. 

 

If Prawit is let go or resigns, that's also good. One down so to speak. Him resigning is really the best option for the junta. But will his ego allow him to take one for the team?

He  wouldn't resign per se it  would be "due  to health reasons/ family  issues" but not because he was an outright god dam  liar.

Just  saw  baboon posted at the same  time.

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14 minutes ago, worgeordie said:

Just ask for the receipts,its as simple as that,

regards worgeordie

Thais always  like to make a mountain out of a molehill ( even my Wife can't  give a  simple yes/no answer, reality is it could all be settled in an  hour or so. It wouldn't be however the story they'd  want to hear.

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Just now, Lemonltr said:

Freesize.. With an emphasis on the Free!

Its only a matter of "time", that he will have a lot of "free time" on his "hand", tick tock, tick tock

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4 hours ago, canuckamuck said:

If Prayut threw Prawit under the bus on this one he would actually gain a shred of credibility. Anything is possible in an election year.

Yes, but what if Prawit has dirt on Prayut ?  What makes you think he will go quietly ?  Pretty sure he has some sort of insurance for his own self preservation.  Don't think he will see the undercarriage of a bus anytime soon.   

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6 hours ago, rkidlad said:

That's it. It's a real lose-lose situation for Prayut and the boys. 

Except they are too immersed in their own importance to see it...and they have the cannons too!

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8 hours ago, Coastrider said:

I hear that they may check the serial numbers to see if the taxes were pay on the items. I doubt that this will happen as

one may find out who bought and insured the time pieces. I can see him going as there is no honor among thieves.

The watches are most likely just bought in Thailand (Paragon for example) and VAT has been paid. In many cases no names are registered as this is not necessary for anything (guarantee comes from the brand, not the shop). Insurance might be purchased later but this is not mandatory so whoever stands up as "owner" can just say he had the watch uninsured (so there is no evidence).

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