Five charged in B300m tycoon's shares theft case

Five charged in B300m tycoon's shares theft case

Kanthana Siwathanapol, 28, (right) with her lawyer Seksan Trachu, at the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok to answer a charge of money laundering on Tuesday. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)
Kanthana Siwathanapol, 28, (right) with her lawyer Seksan Trachu, at the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok to answer a charge of money laundering on Tuesday. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)

Five suspects in the alleged theft of shares worth 300 million baht from the late construction tycoon Chuwong sae Tang have been charged with money laundering, including a former deputy commerce minister.

The fifth person, former model Kanthana Siwathanapol, 28, arrived at the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok with her lawyer on Tuesday to answer the charge.

Lawyer Seksan Trachu said police alleged she had illegally received 9.5 million shares worth about 200 million baht and spent the proceeds buying other assets.

His client denied the money-laundering charge and insisted she had obtained the shares honestly and spent the money normally. The bought assets were impounded, Mr Seksan said.

On Monday former deputy commerce minister Banyin Tangpakorn, 55, acknowledged the same charge, and also denied it.

On Aug 15 Uracha Wachirakuntol, 27, her mother and her younger brother were charged with money laundering. Police said they also bought assets with money realised from Chuwong's shares.

Chuwong, 50, was owner of the giant construction firm Standard Performance. He was originally thought to have been killed in a minor crash on June 26, 2015 when Pol Lt Col Banyin (retired) drove his Lexus sports utility vehicle into a tree on the side of the road in Bangkok's Prawet district. Chuwong was in the front passenger seat.

Just days before the crash, shares worth more than 300 million baht that were owned by Chuwong were transferred to Ms Kanthana and Ms Uracha, who were reportedly close to Pol Lt Col Banyin.

Pol Lt Col Banyin, who was totally unscathed in the crash, was later charged with murder. A CSD investigation, after the case was taken out of the hands of local police, concluded Chuwong's head injuries were inflicted before the accident.  

Pol Lt Col Banyin had known Chuwong since they met a course at the Thailand National Defence College about two years before the the tycoon's death.


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