Thai PM’s nephew forced out over nepotism claims

Money in long-dormant accounts is estimated at about 10 billion baht ($302 million)

The nephew of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has resigned from military service following criticism of nepotism over his appointment to an officer position, an army source says.

Sub Lt Patipat Chan-o-cha, 26, the youngest son of the prime minister’s brother, Gen Preecha, was appointed to the job at the 3rd Army’s Civil Affairs Division in Phitsanulok in April last year.

The former officer was accused of taking advantage of the high-profile position of his father, who was then permanent secretary for defence, to land the job. He was accordingly subjected to widespread public criticism.

The confidentially marked letter appointing Sub Lt Patipat was leaked on social media last year.

Some argued that Sub Lt Patipat’s new position was natural given his upbringing in a military family. However, some fired back that he had clearly used his privilege to advance his career.

One unnamed source who knows Sub Lt Patipat says the former officer “had to remove many hostile comments posted on his Facebook page, block people who were not his friends and eventually had to deactivate his Facebook account”.

The source added that Sub Lt Patipat was not personally interested in pursuing a military career but that his parents wanted to see him follow in his father’s footsteps.

A graduate of the communication arts department at Naresuan University, Sub Lt Patipat had the needed skills to work in the military’s Civil Affairs Division, said some supporters.

However, according to the unnamed source, he was unhappy with his working experience and felt he could not adequately fulfil the job’s functions. – Bangkok Post

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