Panthawat's lawyer meets DSI

Panthawat's lawyer meets DSI

A lawyer representing Panthawat Nakwisut, CEO of the Kong Salak Plus online lottery platform, yesterday met with the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to discuss suspicious money transfers worth over one billion baht.

Investigators from the DSI's narcotics division will examine the evidence the lawyer presented to see if it could clarify lingering doubts, said DSI deputy spokeswoman Pittayaporn Churat.

If the explanations were still unclear, Mr Panthawat would be summoned to meet them, she added.

Mr Panthawat flew to Britain last Friday but denied he was fleeing the country to escape possible legal action over 39 transfers totalling 1.09 billion baht into his account and that of his company.

Yesterday he posted a picture on Facebook purported to have been taken in Bangkok, showing an air ticket from Paris to Bangkok dated Jan 25.

Ms Pittayaporn said DSI investigators have already looked into transfers of 53 million baht from the account of an online gambling website to Mr Panthawat's account. They are now checking the evidence against documents provided by a bank.

Seven other people were summoned in connection with money transfers worth about one billion baht. Four have met with DSI investigators, one has been arrested, and two others have fled.

Arrest warrants have been sought for them, Ms Pittayaporn said.

She said investigators found that the 53-million-baht transfer was prize money from two government lottery draws -- 42 million and 11 million baht.

The person who cashed in the winning tickets and later transferred the money to Mr Panthawat's account is facing an arrest warrant for collusion in money laundering and online gambling.

Some of the other money transfers are believed to involve restaurant businesses, said Ms Pittayaporn. Investigators hope to submit cases to public prosecutors before the end of February as some of the suspects have been in custody since December, she added.

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