Billionaire death probe focuses on caddie

Billionaire death probe focuses on caddie

Woman opened share account two weeks before car crash

A caddie who allegedly received shares worth more than 200 million baht from a billionaire before he died in a car crash had changed her name at least four times, police said.

Pol Lt Col Nattaphong Kerd-eiam said Kanthana Siwathanapol, who worked at the Lakewood Country Club on Bang Na-Trat Road, was on a list of people who received shares transferred from the account of Chuwong Sae-Tanga, a construction businessman, before he was killed in a car crash last month.
Ms Kanthana failed to appear at the Crime Suppression Division yesterday, CSD investigator Nattaphong said.

A police source said the investigation found Ms Kanthana, who also promoted commercial events, was closely acquainted with Chuwong and she had opened her stock account just two weeks before the accident. She has also changed her name and surname at least four times, twice in 2010 and twice in 2012.

The car crash that killed Chuwong was not considered suspicious at the time, but the investigation into his death was re-opened after a petition from relatives. The relatives are suspicious because of the large amount of money transferred to people before the car crash.

They suspect fraud may have been committed in the share transactions, and claim a signature on the share transfer documents might be forged.

Chuwong was found dead in the front passenger seat of a Lexus sport utility vehicle after it hit a roadside tree on Chaloem Phrakiat Road, Prawet district, on June 26. Pol Lt Col Banyin Tangpakorn, a former deputy commerce minister who driving the car, sustained minor injuries.

Pol Lt Col Banyin met police on July 16 and told them the crash was an accident.

Soon after the billionaire's death, his relatives discovered corporate shares held by Chuwong were transferred to a group of people.

His relatives, led by Wanpen Thanadhamsiri, Chuwong’s elder sister, and Kan, his 22-year-old son, submitted a petition to the CSD and to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to have the case reinvestigated.

A police source said an investigation found two transactions of share transfers valuing almost 300 million baht were made before he died.

The first transaction was made on June 5, when Chuwong’s holding shares of three companies in the banking, construction and energy sectors worth more than 40 million baht were wired to a female stock broker and another woman.

The second was on June 19. A total of 9.5 million shares in Energy Absolute Plc worth 228 million baht were transferred to Ms Kanthana’s account.

Police said other documents bearing Chuwong’s signatures have also been sent to the Office of Forensic Science in order to check whether they match a signature on share transfer documents.

Pol Lt Col Nattaphong said Ms Kanthana, a female stockbroker and two other women are being summoned to give statements next week.

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