BANGKOK - A graft probe into the luxury watch collection of Thailand's junta No. 2 was dropped on Thursday (Dec 27), sparking the ire of the public and political opponents of the military.
The country's anti-corruption agency cited "no grounds" for an investigation into the scandal surrounding Prawit Wongsuwan's penchant for pricey timepieces, which captivated the kingdom earlier this year and drew criticisms in a rare lightning rod of dissent as the Thai public grew weary after four years of military rule.
The 73-year-old was caught last December wearing a luxury watch in a photo, inspiring online sleuths to dig up old photos of at least 22 watches collectively worth US$1.2 million (S$1.6 million) on his wrist, including 11 Rolexes, eight Patek Philippes and three Richard Milles.
Questions arose over how a general on a relatively humble public servant's salary could afford items undeclared on his US$2.7 million list of assets on taking office, leading the kingdom's anti-graft agency to open a probe into his wrist bling.