Officials fired after nearly US$60mil found in personal bank accounts

Four Thai officials have been dismissed after authorities found more than two billion baht (RM266.2mil) in their bank accounts, with investigators calling the group “unusually wealthy”.Corruption is rife in the South-East Asian kingdom, with officials often accused of accepting small bribes and pay-offs, but sums of this magnitude are rare.

The approximately US$57mil was discovered in multiple accounts held by three women and a man who work in the Revenue Department in Samut Prakhan province, near the capital Bangkok.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has referred the case to the attorney-general’s office and requested that the Criminal Court for Corruption also investigate.

The four were “unusually wealthy”, said Sornchai Chuwichian, assistant secretary-general and deputy spokesperson of the NACC.Their listed assets including bank deposits did not match their government incomes, Sornchai said in an NACC statement on Monday.

None of the men could explain the source of the money, Sornchai added.

The man, Danai Damrongchaiyothin, had 1.1 billion baht (RM146.4mil) in seven accounts, while one of the women held more than 500mil baht (RM66.5mil) in five accounts.

The starting salary for a revenue official is less than US$450 (RM2,105) per month.All four officials have been dismissed from their government posts, according to the NACC statement.

It did not mention whether they had been charged or arrested. — AFP

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