Looking frail and fatigued, the man once dubbed "the godfather of the East" began serving his prison sentence on Friday after admitting to the Criminal Court that he was the defendant convicted in a corruption case involving the 1992 sale of land in a forest reserve for use as a garbage dump.
Criminal Court chief judge Thawee Prachuablarb said the prison sentence handed down to Somchai Khunploem in the Khao Mai Kaew corruption land case, in Bang Lamung district of Chon Buri, took effect today.
He received a sentence of five years and four months for the offence after the Supreme Court ruled in absentia in 2006 that he was guilty, upholding lower court judgements. Somchai had fled before the court ruling.
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