Saxena sentenced to 10 yrs in jail

Saxena sentenced to 10 yrs in jail

The South Bangkok Criminal Court on Friday sentenced Rakesh Saxena, a former adviser to the Bangkok Bank of Commerce (BBC) that collapsed in 1995, heralding the 1997 "Tom Yum Kung" financial crisis, to 10 years in prison for embezzlement.

Saxena was convicted and sentenced for violating the Securities and Exchange Act and Article 83 of the Criminal Code.

The court also imposed a fine of one million baht on the 60-year-old Indian-born financier, who arrived at the court compound on Friday in a wheelchair and in prison uniform 

He was ordered to repay 1.132 billion baht in connection with illicit loans granted to City Trading Corp totalling 1.6 billion baht. 

On Feb 10, 1995, Saxena, former BBC president Krirkkiat Jalichandra and other bank executives used City Trading as a nominee to borrow money from the BBC. 

Collateral for the loans was appraised at about 100 times the market value, from 26.9 million baht to 1.351 billion baht.

If Saxena cannot pay the fine, his prison sentence will be increased by up to two years, a court official said.

The BBC collapsed in 1995 and Saxena fled to Vancouver. He lost a 13-year fight against extradition and was deported back to Thailand in 2009.

The failure of the bank contributed to the turmoil that led to the 1997 Asian financial collapse, known as the "Tom Yum Kung" crisis because it started in Thailand.

Photos by Somchai Poomlard

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