Thai anti-graft body wants laws tightened

Thai anti-graft body wants laws tightened
A member of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) Vicha Mahakhun listens to a question from the media during a news conference at the NACC office in Nonthaburi province, on the outskirts of Bangkok May 8, 2014.

THAILAND - The National Anti-Corruption Commission has resolved to tighten its rules so that politicians are required to declare assets and debts within three months.

The NACC also wants approval from the National Council for Peace and Order to give the anti-graft body the authority to interrogate the bosses of private companies believed to be involved in corruption and lay criminal charge against them.

NACC member Vicha Mahakhun said it was not uncommon for politicians to take up to 600 days to declare assets, as required by law.

Vicha said this made no sense so the NACC now wants politicians to declare their assets within three months, with a warning given at the end of each month.

"Declaring assets is very important," he said, adding that people who violate the law would be banned from politics for five years.

Vicha said the NACC was learning from its counterparts in other countries, including the United Kingdom, about how to catch companies involved in graft.

He said companies suspected to being involved in corruption would be asked to prove that they had done all they could to prevent bribery, for example. Because if nobody was seeking bribes from them, then no one would be able to accept bribes.

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