Ex-defence official’s assets seized on corruption charges

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BANGKOK, Feb 27 – Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has resolved to confiscate over Bt65 million worth of assets from former permanent secretary for defence Sathian Permthong-in and his associates.

Vicha Mahakun, an NCCC member, said there is evidence to substantiate charges against Gen Sathien for his ‘unusual wealth’ including transfers of cash and assets to his wife Natnicha Permthong-in, his adopted daughter Nichapat Permthong-in and Sombat Chantornvong, a Thammasat University lecturer.

Gen Sathian was instructed to produce details of assets belonging to him and his family members to the NACC within 30 days.

The assets include Bt12 million cash in five savings accounts, land title deeds and automobiles.

Mr Vicha said the NACC found unscrupulous transfers of over Bt100 million cash into Mrs Natnicha’s and Ms Nichapat’s accounts in 2000-2001, and a transfer of Bt10 million to Mr Sombat who is not a sibling. The money was deposited in the savings cooperatives of Thammasat University.

Mr Sombat who was a PhD advisor for Ms Nichapat reportedly said the latter asked to deposit the money in the university’s savings cooperatives via his account, claiming a family dispute.

She later withdrew Bt1.2 million but the amount was seized by the NACC, Mr Vicha said.

He said the NACC has checked Gen Sathian’s assets since he was a board member of the state-operated Warehouse Organisation and found that he intentionally produced false documents on his assets and liabilities.

The NACC earlier submitted the case to the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of  Political Positions to seek legal action against him and his associates under Section 41 of the Constitution’s organic law on counter corruption, he said. (MCOT online news)