The Department of Special Investigation has impounded assets worth 100 million baht from listed wire and cable manufacturer Stark Corp and suspects total damage in the alleged fraud could reach 100 billion baht.
DSI director-general Suriya Singhakamol said on Wednesday that the department had already impounded Stark's assets worth about 100 million baht and was looking for more.
The DSI took up the case of alleged fraud at Stark following revelations of suspected irregularities in its financial statements, which impacted on its bond return and share price.
"Damage was estimated initially at 35-50 billion baht and is likely to soar to 100 billion baht," Pol Maj Suriya Singhakamol said.
The DSI had called many people in for questioning and should be able to name the suspects in the case in two weeks, he said.
Those called for questioning included people involved in Stark's financial statements, audits, procurements and decisions. Chanin Yensudchai, former Stark CEO, was among them, the DSI director-general said.
He also invited people affected in the Stark case to file their complaints via the DSI's hotline number 1202.
"The DSI initially found evidence of fraud," Pol Maj Suriya said.
Earlier the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned that people involved in the fraud surrounding Stark could face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.
So far, corporate bondholders with a total principal outstanding value of nearly 9.2 billion baht have been affected through a default of payments, while individual investors have faced losses as Stark's market capitalisation has decreased.
The Stark share price was at 0.02 baht after the midday close of the Stock Exchange of Thailand on Wednesday, compared with 2.44 baht on Jan 3.
According to the SEC, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Jaiyos Co audited Stark's financial statements for 2021, and reported that the company had made a profit of 2.79 billion baht. But PricewaterhouseCoopers ABAS later conducted a special audit that found the company had net losses of 5.98 billion baht for the year, as well as a 6.65 billion baht loss in 2022.
In addition, the special audit also found 202 unusual sales transactions, amounting to 8.06 billion baht and 3.89 billion baht in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
The Thai Investor Association said 1,759 retail investors in the Stark case had registered for class action legal proceedings totalling 4.06 billion baht in damages.