NPR

Will A Scandal Over Expensive Watches Bring Down Thailand's Government?

The deputy prime minister is believed to own some 25 luxury watches, worth more than $1 million. The fallout has tarnished the government's image, leading some to wonder how much longer it will last.

Last month, at a Cabinet function on the lawn of Bangkok's Government House, deputy prime minister and defense minister Prawit Wongsuwan made a simple gesture: He raised his arm to shield his eyes from the sun.

He might be wishing by now that he hadn't. In doing so, he exposed the bling on his wrist and a diamond ring on his finger. The wristwatch turned out to be a Richard Mille, worth $90,000 by some accounts. Internet sleuths were quick to scour the Web for more treasure, discovering photos of a slew of watches on Prawit's wrist over the past few years, including several Richard Milles, Patek Philippes and Rolexes.

The total,

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR5 min readWellness
A History Of Quarantines, From Bubonic Plague To Typhoid Mary
China's efforts to build a quarantine center for suspected Wuhan coronavirus patients is the latest chapter about a practice that's as old as the Bible.
NPR5 min read
How Super Sniffer Dogs Are Helping Detect Disease Around The World
Our canine buddies can do more than play fetch. Turns out dogs' incredible sense of smell is a secret weapon in medicine.
NPR2 min read
Opera For Newbies: Busting Myths And Belting High Notes
A listener's guide for the opera-curious includes a little history, a little trash-talk and some gorgeous singing.