DSI panel to weigh up more Krungthai loan probes

DSI panel to weigh up more Krungthai loan probes

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has set up a panel to look into petitions urging the agency to probe individuals suspected of receiving embezzled money connected to the Krungthai Bank (KTB) loan scandal.

DSI director-general Paisit Wongmuang said Friday the panel, formed by him, will look into all petitions and determine whether there were new issues that needed to be investigated.

The committee will also look at how KTB granted loans, he said, insisting additional petitions would not undermine existing investigations into the scandal.

The scandal involves 9.9 billion baht of loans given by the KTB to subsidiaries of the Krisdamahanakorn (KMN) real-estate company during the government of Thaksin Shinawatra. The loans were granted even though the firm was listed with the bank as a non-performing debtor.

Pol Col Paisit was speaking after photos circulated online purportedly showing a cheque worth 100,000 baht signed by Wichai Krisdathanont, a former executive of KMN, on Dec 26, 2003. Also featured was a purported deposit slip showing that the cheque had been deposited into the bank account of Adm Pachun Tamprateep, an aide to Privy Council President Gen Prem Tinsulanonda, five days later.

Another photo shows part of a 250,000 baht cheque written out for a general whose name started with the letter "P". It was supposedly signed on Sept 20, 2003 also by Wichai. According to the online post on social media, the money was then ordered to be wired to the bank account of the General Prem Tinsulanonda Historical Park Foundation.

The DSI meanwhile is zeroing in on Panthongtae "Oak" Shinawatra, son of Thaksin, and three other people who allegedly received part of the fraudulent KTB loans. Receiving assets from a corrupt scheme forms the basis of money laundering under Thai law.

The other three suspects are Kanchanapha Honghern, a former secretary of Thaksin's ex-wife, Khunying Potjaman na Pombejra; Wanchai Honghern, the husband of Ms Kanchanapha; and Kesinee Jipiphop, Ms Kanchanapha's mother.

"The DSI investigated and are proceeding with the cases in line with the evidence," said Pol Col Paisit.

"Whether or not these cases will lead to indictments will be explained to the public."

Referring to photographs in the online post, the DSI chief said the committee will check whether they were leaked from an investigation file and if so by who.


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