Property tycoon faces money laundering charge

Property tycoon faces money laundering charge

Anant: Set to be charged April 2
Anant: Set to be charged April 2

The Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) will charge property tycoon Anant Asavabhokhin with money laundering over his alleged involvement in the Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative (KCUC) fund embezzlement scandal, according to an OAG source.

The indictment was approved by Attorney-General Amnat Jedcharoenruk on Feb 16 and is expected to be executed by the OAG's special litigation office on April 2, the source said.

Mr Anant, former chairman of Land and Houses Plc, is due to report to prosecutors that day, the source said.

Mr Anant has been required to report to prosecutors every three months while his case is pending an OAG decision on whether or not he would be indicted in this case, the source said.

The case had lain dormant for years until the new revelation was made on Thursday.

In 2019, Wongsakul Kittipromwong, a former attorney-general who was then the director-general of the OAG's special litigation office, returned the case to the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) with the recommendation that the case should not be pursued further in court.

The DSI then appealed against Mr Wongsakul's decision, and the appeal had been left without any new decision by the OAG for four years, during which time three attorney-generals were appointed to the post, said the source.

According to the source, this money laundering case concerned three plots of land in tambon Klong 2 of Klong Luang district of Pathum Thani, which were about 312 rai in total, and shares in M-Home SPV 2 Co, which were altogether acquired by Supachai Srisupa-aksorn, the former KCUC chairman, for 321.4 million baht.

According to the findings of an investigation carried out by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), Mr Supachai, M-Home SPV 2 Co, and a number of other parties had signed a contract to sell one of the three plots with the title deeds No.31344, which was about 46 rai in size, to Mr Anant for 93.78 million baht.

However, a letter of intent was afterwards signed by Mr Anant to donate the acquired land to Phra Thep Yanamahamuni, or Chaiyabul Dhammajayo, the former abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, according to the NACC. After this, the land in question was later resold on June 25, 2015, by Mr Anant to Thai Agro Exchange Co for 492.35 million baht, according to the NACC.

Of the received 492.35 million baht, 468.73 million baht were later paid to M-Home SPV 2 Co, which donated about 303 million baht to a foundation called Ubasika Chan Khon Nok Yung Thong, which was connected with Wat Phra Dhammakaya, the NACC said.

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