Political activist and whistle-blower Chuvit Kamolvisit alleged on Tuesday that the property developer Sansiri Plc nominated a housekeeper and a security guard to take out a 1-billion-baht loan from a subsidiary to purchase land in the Thong Lor area of Bangkok.
Mr Chuvit hosted a press conference to reveal the alleged shareholding fraud of Sansiri, which was operating under its former CEO, Srettha Thavisin, now the prime ministerial candidate of the Pheu Thai Party.
Mr Chuvit claimed Sansiri used these two nominees -- a housekeeper and a security guard -- to take out a 1-billion-baht loan from its subsidiary to pay a landowner 565 million baht. He said no one appears to know what the rest of money was spent on.
The housekeeper was later identified as Ms Pinit (surname not disclosed), who lives in Maha Sarakham province.
She was found to have held 99% of the shares in the subsidiary, but there was no recorded data of her making corporate tax payments.
Another nominee -- a security guard identified as Mr Somsak (surname also withheld) -- was found to have owned 1% of the company.
He was also listed as the board member of five firms, including a transport service company associated with another Sansiri project.
Mr Chuvit said after the subsidiary sold the plot to Sansiri, the company was abandoned.
In light of this, Mr Chuvit asked whether Mr Srettha was qualified to serve as the next prime minister -- if his government was going to be overseen by nominees.
"I will ask the Stock Exchange of Thailand to check on the governance of Sansiri and ask the Senate for a review of Mr Srettha's qualifications [to become PM]," he said.
Pheu Thai deputy leader Phumtham Wechayachai said Mr Srettha's qualifications would be reviewed according to the relevant regulations.
He also expressed confidence Pheu Thai could garner more than the 375 votes it needs for Mr Srettha to become prime minister and for the party to form a new government, adding it is in talks with the Palang Pracharath Party and United Thai Nation Party about serving as coalition allies.
Last week, Mr Srettha sued Mr Chuvit for 500 million baht for defamation over comments made about another land purchased earlier by Sansiri.
Mr Chuvit implied Sansiri had attempted to dodge paying taxes.