How did you afford that? Watches hint at corruption in Thailand and...


A leader of the junta running the military-monarchist dictatorship in Thailand has been photographed wearing an array of fancy watches far beyond the means of his official salary: generating an outpouring of social media shaming.

The Associated Press reported that the fiasco around watches threatened the regime itself, starting its report: “Entering their fifth year in power, Thailand’s ruling generals may be running out of time and it’s not for a lack of watches.”

The MailOnline picked up on what has been a growing social media meme among exiled Thais and those brave enough to criticize the military online at home. Showing a gallery of almost comically expensive watches, the MailOnline noted that the “number two” in the regime, Prawit Wongsuwan, had been pictured wearing no fewer than 25 luxury watches worth $1.2m since the 2014 coup brought the military to power.

A Facebook group has outed Prawit wearing a series of expensive Rolex watches, a Patek Philippe, and three Richard Milles. Prawit said some of the watches were lent to him by friends, including one who died before he reclaimed it. He also said he would quit his position if anti-corruption officials find him guilty of any wrongdoing.

The Bangkok Post has an entire section devoted to “Prawit accessories.”

This isn’t the first time world leaders, including Vladimir Putin (Business Insider), have been caught with watches (BBC News from 2015) they ought not have been able to afford themselves. Who else might be out there? Drop us a line to [email protected] or TALK about or EDIT this item and upload a picture.

 

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