Prayuth Broke Law Buying, Gifting Overpriced Puppies: Activist

Junta leader Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha caresses one of three dogs he purchased last December in Sukhothai.

BANGKOK — Anti-corruption activist Srisuwan Janya said he would petition the anti-corruption commission on Wednesday over Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha’s  purchase of three puppies late last year.

Srisuwan, secretary-general of the Association of Thai Constitution Protection, said Tuesday in a letter that Prayuth broke anti-corruption laws when he bought three Bang Kaew puppies in Sukhothai province last December, after reportedly paying 3,000 baht above the real market price.

Prayuth reportedly paid a total of 25,000 bahts for three puppies originally priced at 6,000 baht each when he visited the province, citing his desire to offer moral support to the seller.

In a Tuesday letter to the media in which he expressed his intentions, Srisuwan pointed out that Prayuth had paid 7,000 baht of extras to the seller, which could be construed as a violation of anti-corruption laws.

Srisuwan cited Article 103 of the 1999 Anti-Corruption Act which forbids government officials from giving or receiving gifts worth more than 3,000 baht.

What’s more, wrote Srisuwan, Prayuth also broke the law by giving two of the puppies to Interior Minister Gen. Anupong Paochinda and his deputy, Gen. Chatchai Sarikulya, meaning they also broke the law by accepting the gifts.

“Thus these acts by [the three] clearly violate said law. In order not to let the incident occur without the law being enforced, the association [I represent] will petition the National Anti-Corruption Commission to examine, scrutinize and exercise its power according to the law,” Srisuwan wrote.

Last month, Srisuwan petitioned the commission over numerous undeclared luxury watches owned by Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan.