BANGKOK, 29 February 2012 – The country’s anti-graft agency has resolved to confiscate the assets of a former Permanent Secretary to the Transport Ministry, who has been a subject of investigation for alleged unusual wealth.
The Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commissioner (NACC) Klanarong Chanthick said on Tuesday that the NACC has reached a unanimous decision to seize a house and a piece of land in Bangkok’s Lat Phrao area, which belong to former Permanent Secretary for Transport Supoj Saplom.
The confiscation decision was made after the sub-committee in charge of the investigation of Mr. Supoj found that the ownership of both assets was transferred to the former Permanent Secretary for Transport’s daughter and son-in-law in the middle of January, when the probe was being launched against him.
Mr. Klanarong elaborated that the timing of the ownership transfer suggested that laws might have been violated, therefore, such a transaction should be halted immediately.
He added that the NACC also requested Mr. Supoj to explain the source of the controversial THB18 million baht, it earlier found from his several bank accounts. Mr. Supoj insisted that the money was the accumulation of earnings from his overtime work between 1978 and 2002.
In January, a state-appointed panel investigating Mr. Supoj’s alleged unusual wealth has decided to discontinue its probe, citing a lack of information. The case was then left in the hands of the NACC and other related agencies to carry on.
The investigation against the former Permanent Secretary for Transport came to light after Mr Supoj’s Lat Phrao house was robbed last year and he reported to the police that THB5 million was missing. But when two suspects were arrested, they told police they saw a cash fortune in the house that could be worth almost THB1 billion. Since then, he has been transferred to an inactive post pending an investigation into his unusual wealth.