'Benz Racing’ among arrested street racers
published : 25 Jun 2020 at 17:26
writer: Online Reporters
Eight street racers, one of them Akarakit "Benz Racing" Worarojcharoendet, were arrested and six motorcycles seized in the Vibhavadi-Rangsit area of Bangkok in the early hours of Thursday.
Police said a patrol spotted a group of motorcyclists exiting Thewaritpanluek Road near Don Mueang airport’s cargo warehouse about 1.30am. They entered Vibhavadi Rangsit Road and accelerated up the highway at high speed. Police in the area were alerted.
Eight racers were subsequently caught and six motorcycles seized from them in front of Rama Garden Hotel, said Pol Col Pansa Ammarapithak, deputy chief of Vibhavadi Rangsit police station.
Akarakit, alias “Benz Racing’’, was among the eight racers.
During interrogation, Akarakit, 33, denied he and the others gathered for street racing on a public road.
Police initially charged all eight with violating the emergency decree, illegal gathering that posed a risk of spreading a communicable disease, and traffic violations.
All were handed over to Thung Song Hong police station for legal action, Thai media reported.
On Sept 7, 2018, the Criminal Court sentenced Akarakit to eight years in prison for drug-related money laundering, and two of his associates to 24 years for trafficking and money laundering.
Prosecutors told the court the three men opened bank accounts to handle cash transactions involving a major drug ring.
Around 11 million baht had been transferred to various bank accounts via 53 transactions from December 2014 to February 2017.
Akrakit, then the husband of actress Napapa “Patt’’ Tantrakul, spent the money on luxury cars and motorcycles. He denied all charges.
The Criminal Court acquitted Akarakit of assisting in drug trafficking, giving him the benefit of the doubt. He was found guilty of money laundering.
The other two defendants were each sentenced to 20 years in jail for assisting in drug trafficking, and eight additional years each for money laundering. The eight years were commuted to four because of their guilty plea. They were also fined 400,000 baht each for the drug offence.
The court granted Akarakit temporary release on bail of 1 million baht, pending appeal, and ordered him to wear an electronic ankle bracelet. He was also prohibited from leaving the country without court permission.
All three defendants were charged after the arrest of Lao drug kingpin Xaysana Keopimpha, 42, in early 2017. The court sentenced Xaysana to life imprisonment in March 2018 for smuggling 1.2 million methamphetamne pills into Thailand.