Ex-police chief Somyot 'borrowed' B300m from brothel owner
Former national police chief Somyot Poompunmuang admitted Monday he had borrowed a huge sum of money from the fugitive owner of the Victoria's Secret Massage brothel, Kampol Wirathepsuporn.
Pol Gen Somyot, who is currently the president of the Football Association of Thailand, said he and Mr Kampol were friends and the latter loaned him money on several occasions.
"We're friends and of course friends do help each other. I was in trouble and asked him for help several times. Mr Kampol helped me out three or four times and the amount was around 300 million baht," he said.
His remarks came amid reports that the ongoing investigation into the financial transactions of the massage parlour showed Mr Kampol was close to a former senior police officer and about 300 million baht changed hands between them.
Pol Gen Somyot said the borrowing and the repayment were carried out via banks, adding that the transactions were reported to the National Anti-Corruption Commission three years ago.
He insisted he is ready to clarify the matter.
"There is no reason for me to conceal [those transactions] because I don't think this is unlawful. But if the public have doubts if the money was from illegal activities, I can't answer that. They have to ask Khun Kampol," he said.
The former national police chief also said he and Mr Kampol had known each other for over 20 years and shared an enthusiasm for amulets.
According to Pol Gen Somyot, Mr Kampol also donated five million baht to help him raise money to fund hospital construction projects in the three southernmost provinces and offered to buy amulets worth 31 million baht in a charity auction.
On Sunday, Department of Special Investigation chief Paisit Wongmuang said no summons had been issued for the former police chief for questioning and the probe was continuing.
Meanwhile, former House speaker Yongyuth Tiyapairat filed two defamation lawsuits Monday against TV chat show host Chuvit Kamolvisit and others over broadcasts linking him to criminal activities.
In the first lawsuit, Mr Yongyuth accused Mr Chuvit and his two co-hosts, Pasit Apinyawat and Pitchayatan Chanput, of defamation in connection with a broadcast on Channel 33 HD on Jan 22. BEC Multimedia Co, the operator of Channel 33 HD, was also named in the lawsuit.
In the second suit, Mr Yongyuth, a leading politician in Chiang Rai, is suing Mr Chuvit and co-host Aratchporn Chaladol for defamation over a programme broadcast on Thairath TV on Jan 21. Triple V Broadcast Co, the operator of Thairath TV, was also named in the lawsuit.
The lawsuits were prompted by two programmes in which Mr Yongyuth's alleged links with Chiang Rai Football Club and alleged illegal financial activities in relation to Victoria's Secret massage parlour were discussed.
Udom Prongfah, Mr Yongyuth's lawyer, said the charges were laid to protect Mr Yongyuth's reputation against false accusations made by Mr Chuvit and others.
He said his client had nothing to do with the football club, which was set up by his son, and moreover Mr Yongyuth had never collaborated with anyone in laundering money or manipulating stocks. He challenged Mr Chuvit to prove his accusations.
The Criminal Court accepted the first lawsuit for a preliminary hearing on June 4 and the other for June 11.
Mr Udom said his client would also file suit on Friday against the same parties in the Civil Court for defamation and demand 200 million baht in damages.
He said the legal action was being taken to encourage media outlets to examine the facts and give fair treatment to people mentioned in their reports.