Mr Wacharin shows his welfare card, but on his multiple Instagram accounts he has a different image.
The adoptive mother of a male model who recently drew public criticism on social media after posting a photo of his state welfare card, which lies in stark contrast to his apparently well-to-do lifestyle, claims her son is genuinely poor.
Warun Tintachat said her son was unfairly implicated by the media, and that Wacharin Tankuranant is impoverished and lives on instant noodles and eggs.
Ms Warun made the remarks when she appeared on a talk show called Thup To Khao that aired on Amarin TV on Monday night. Her son sat by her side and let her do most of the talking.
Ms Warun claimed the lavish lifestyle her son posted on social media including expensive meals were paid for by his wealthy friends, while his expensive clothes were all borrowed from his friends to use in his job of reviewing products online. She said her son must be well-dressed to attract prospective clients.
The clothes in his wardrobe are all old, she said.
“Although I have some money in my savings accounts and stocks in my retirement savings plan, I still have to work to earn a living. And when this welfare card came around, we too wanted to use it in our daily lives because we’re not rich,” she said.
The adoptive mother said her son has become a subject of criticism because a long-time enemy, who is embroiled in a legal dispute with her son, intentionally stirred up the controversy.
The controversy raised doubt about how the state welfare cards are being managed and if the budget is being spent wisely.
The case forced the Comptroller General’s Department to check its database to tone down public criticism.
Department chief Suttirat Rattanachot said the body knows the name of the model and will follow up on the case.
She said the department will check how he passed qualification screening.
To qualify, a person must be a Thai national, aged 18 or older, earn no more than 100,000 baht a year, and have a bank account or accounts with a combined deposit of no more than 100,000 baht. If they own a house or a townhouse, it must be no larger than 25 square wah, or no bigger than 35 square metres if it is a condo.