Credit union brass face charges

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has summoned the Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative chairman and three associates to acknowledge charges in a 12-billion-baht embezzlement case tomorrow.

Kittikong Kanachan, the case officer from the DSI, said yesterday the evidence at hand has implicated chairman Supachai Srisupa-aksorn and his associates _ Saranya Manmad, Lapat Somkam and Krisada Meeboonmak.

The Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) has ordered a freeze on assets held by the suspects. They include 319 plots of land, eight vehicles and nine bank accounts. The total value of the frozen assets, including land plots in Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima, amounts to 2 billion baht. Mr Kittikong said the suspects will be eligible for bail as they are unlikely to pose flight risks, particularly Mr Supachai, who remains the chairman of the cooperative.

Meanwhile, about 40 members of the Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative, led by Padet Mungthanya, submitted a petition with DSI director-general Tarit Pengdith and Mr Kittikong yesterday, asking the agency to take legal action against Mr Supachai and remove him from the chairman's post.

Mr Padet said many members had requested to close their accounts and withdraw their deposits from the cooperative since March, but the organisation only allowed withdrawals of 20,000 baht per person a month.

More than 15 billion baht was deposited in the cooperative, which has about 50,000 members, Mr Padet said.

Mr Kittikong, however, said the DSI has no jurisdiction to dismiss Mr Supachai.

"The DSI will notify the Cooperative Promotion Department that Mr Supachai was involved in breaching a cooperative-related law and embezzlement," Mr Kittikong said. "It is the duty of the department to take action against him."

About the author

Writer: King-oua Laohong
Position: Reporter