Celeb raising protest cash faces probe

Celeb raising protest cash faces probe

Actress Inthira "Sai" Charoenpura and a fellow activist are facing possible tax and anti-money laundering probes over their acceptance of public donations in support of the Ratsadon protests.

Watchara Phetthong, a former Democrat Party MP, yesterday petitioned the Revenue Department and the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) asking them to investigate Ms Inthira and fellow activist Pakorn Porncheewangkul over donations they received in support of the protest movement.

Mr Watchara said that since the Ratsadon protest was launched in September last year, those two people had been openly soliciting and collecting donations in support of the protests, which is in violation of the revenue law.

The former MP said a similar donation campaign was mounted during the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) protests in 2010.

A former UDD key figure, Somwang Assarasee, accepted cash donations and reportedly placed them in his bank accounts.

Later, the Revenue Department demanded income tax valued at 572 million baht from Mr Somwang over an undisclosed amount of donations. He was subsequently declared bankrupt.

Later yesterday morning, Mr Watchara visited Amlo and filed a separate petition, pressing the office to trace Ms Inthira's and Mr Pakorn's money trails. The former MP said it should not take longer than 15 days.

Meanwhile, Ms Inthira took to Facebook to bemoan the police's confiscation of a vehicle and items belonging to the protesters who were driven out of their camp grounds near Government House on Sunday.

The actress said she could not understand why the vehicle used during the campaign and items, including loud speakers, computer notebooks and a projector, were seized.

The protesters, who call themselves tenants of Moo Ban Thalu Fah village, had occupied the area opposite Government House days before Sunday's raid. They have vowed to return.

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