'Pinky' denies duping anyone as Forex trial begins
Actress Savika "Pinky" Chaiyadej and her mother on Tuesday told the Criminal Court they had never persuaded or duped anyone into investing in the Forex-3D Ponzi scheme.
Their testimonies were given during the examination of evidence at the Criminal Court on Ratchadaphisek Road on Tuesday.
The court hearing was attended by Apiruk Kothi, one of the alleged masterminds behind the scheme, along with 24 alleged accomplices, including Savika, her mother Sarinya and brother Sarayut.
Prosecutors filed a lawsuit against them following complaints about an investment scam that allegedly caused victims losses totalling 2.4 billion baht.
The Forex-3D scam had never been granted permission to operate by the Bank of Thailand, and many victims claimed to have placed their faith in the creditability of celebrities and influential figures apparently affiliated with the venture.
Funds collected by newcomers would be paid to existing investors. Existing investors would keep receiving dividends as long as there was a consistent flow of funds from new investors.
The court deliberated whether the defendants had failed to use the sums invested in providing returns to investors, which is considered fraud. Prosecutors divided those giving evidence into six groups, including those closely acquainted with victims, perpetrators who hired individuals to open mule accounts and officials.
A source said the lawyer for Savika and her mother revealed the two defendants testified that they were merely investors and had nothing to do with the business operation of Mr Apiruk's firm. The two also insisted they had never reaped any benefits from finding new investors or received any extra privileges. The lawyer requested the court hear the testimony of eight more witnesses, one of whom willingly invested in the scheme without invitation, while the lawyer for Savika's brother accepted the defendant was a board member but had nothing to do with firm administration.
Meanwhile, Mr Apiruk's legal team admitted their client had contacted foreign brokers to help salvage the business and, if the financial situation became stable, he intended to return payments to all victims later.