Whistleblower Chuvit Kamolvisit has denied knowing a high-ranking anti-money laundering official personally, after the latter was allegedly linked to a 6-million-baht bribe.
Mr Chuvit spoke to reporters on Friday and confirmed that he had already handed over the problematic 6-million-baht cash donation to police investigators at the Crime Suppression Division (CSD).
He denied knowing Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) deputy secretary-general Pol Maj Gen Ekkarak Limsangkat, who was recently accused of having links with the 6-million-baht bribe. Subsequently, Pol Maj Gen Ekkarak filed a defamation suit against activist and Help Crime Victim Club chairman Achariya Ruangrattanapon, who made the accusation.
After emerging from a CSD interrogation room at around 6.30pm on Friday, Mr Chuvit said, "I can confirm 100% that I have never met Pol Maj Gen Ekkarak Limsangkat. Come and check my mobile phone records and see that I have never contacted him."
The former massage parlour tycoon also threatened to sue Mr Atchariya, who claimed that Pol Lt Gen Ekkarat had visited the Davis Hotel to give him the money on the night of Jan 21 this year. Mr Chuvit owns the hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 24, Bangkok.
"Mr Atchariya’s claim that Pol Lt Gen Ekkarat went to the Davis Hotel at 11.30pm on Jan 21 was totally false. It's impossible because I was not there,’’ said Mr Chuvit.
He labelled those who tried to wrongly accuse him as "unsettling spirits starving to be in the media spotlight".
After handing over the cash, Mr Chuvit said CSD police were duty-bound to investigate who gave the money to him, and the person who brought the money must also be called to testify about the source of the cash donation.
"A police lieutenant general with the Thai initial 'Por Pla' must be summoned for questioning. As far as I know, investigators have already set a date to summon the person,’’ said the outspoken whistleblower."
Mr Chuvit returned the cash donation to the CSD police, after lawyer Sittra Biabangkerd claimed the money had come from shady sources.
This prompted Mr Chuvit to clarify and exchange a war of words with the crusading lawyer. He had admitted that he accepted 6 million baht from an associate of a police inspector who is being investigated in connection with a huge illegal gambling network and that he donated all the money to Siriraj Hospital and Thammasat University Hospital. The two public hospitals later returned the donations to him.
Mr Sittra responded by saying that Mr Chuvit had received 50 million baht through his son, far more than the amount he had publicly claimed to have donated to the hospitals.
Mr Chuvit responded by saying that he had asked his lawyer to file a suit against Mr Sittra for defamation, demanding 100 million baht in damage.
On Friday, Pol Maj Gen Montri Khetkhan, the CSD commander, said police would keep the money handed over by Mr Chuvit as evidence in the case. The officers would question witnesses to find out the exact source of the money, he said.
A police source said the CSD investigators would gradually call people mentioned in the alleged bribe scandal for questioning. Among them were a police lieutenant general with the Thai initial 'Por Pla' and a man identified only as Sak who were told to give their statements to the investigators on April 4, added the source.