Stark suspect denies cash transfers
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Stark suspect denies cash transfers

Chanin Yensudchai
Chanin Yensudchai

The lawyer of Chanin Yensudchai, one of the key suspects in the Stark Corporation embezzlement scandal, on Sunday rejected reports his client had transferred more than 8 billion baht out of the country.

Ruangsak Suksiangsri said his client, who fled more than eight months ago and returned to Thailand on Sunday from the United Arab Emirates, "was not arrested".

Instead Mr Chanin, a former CEO of Stark, had coordinated with authorities so he could return and fight the charges, Mr Ruangsak said, adding the return was abrupt and he had not yet made preparations for bail.

According to the lawyer, there was a possibility the bail request would be denied as had been the case with similar requests made by other suspects.

Quoting Mr Chanin's family, Mr Ruangsak said Mr Chanin fled because he was concerned about his safety. However, he said he offered no details about alleged threats.

Upon arrival at Suvarnabhumi airport, Mr Chanin was escorted by Department of Special Investigation (DSI) officials to the DSI office for questioning led by Pol Lt Col Chakkrit Wisetkhetkan, director of the DSI’s Bureau of Financial-Banking Crimes and Money Laundering. 

The accounting and embezzlement scandal at SET-listed Stark was one of the country’s largest corporate frauds in recent years causing an estimated at 14.7 billion baht in damages.

Speaking at a press conference, PM's Office Minister Jakkapong Sangmanee said on Sunday Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin attached importance to the case and had assigned him to follow up after Thai authorities verified his whereabouts in UAE.

DSI acting director Yutthana Praedam said the DSI would bring him to the Office of the Attorney-General today for an indictment and it would object any bail request.

The DSI accepted the financial misconduct case for investigation in June last year and later recommended legal action against seven Stark employees and five related companies for forgery, fraud, embezzlement and money laundering.

The scandal came to light in early 2023 after external auditors noticed discrepancies between reported figures and actual financial performance.

Investigators later found that Stark executives orchestrated a scheme to present a misleadingly positive financial outlook to investors and stakeholders.

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