Bail denied for general accused of B44m fraud

Bail denied for general accused of B44m fraud

The Criminal Court has denied bail for a retired general who was arrested and detained for an alleged 44-million-baht public fraud over non-existent LED bulb replacement contracts with schools.

The court on Wednesday turned down assets worth 3 million baht that relatives of Gen Sompote Ngerncharoen, 63, offered as security for his temporary release when police sought court approval to extend his detention.

Gen Sompote was formerly an adviser to the 4th Army commander and assistant chief of staff of the defence ministry.

He was taken into custody on Wednesday on an arrest warrant the court issued on Sept 19. Police charged him with public fraud causing damage amounting to 44.33 million baht that he collected from seven companies as his "facilitation fee" for claimed LED bulb replacement contracts with 100 schools in Khon Kaen province.

Police told the court the fraud occurred in March last year. Gen Sompote did not produce the contracts.

The court rejected a bail request because the large amount involved made him a flight risk. 

Gen Sompote was then taken to Bangkok Remand Prison. The first detention period ends on Oct 27.

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