1997 'crisis architect' Saxena gets 10 years
A saga spanning 17 years came to an end on Friday (June 8) when a Thai court sentenced former Indian financier Rakesh Saxena to 10 years in prison for his part in a fraud case that helped trigger the 1997 Asian crisis.
Friday 15 June 2012, 03:00PM
Saxena was accused of embezzling B1.7 billion baht from the Bangkok Bank of Commerce (BBC) while working as an adviser in the mid-1990s.
In addition to the jail term, the Criminal Court in Bangkok ordered Saxena to pay a fine of B1 million and return more than B1.1 billion baht of misappropriated funds, a court official said.
If Saxena – who arrived at court in a wheelchair – cannot pay the fine, his prison sentence will be increased by up to two years, the official said.
The BBC collapsed in 1995 and Saxena fled to Vancouver. He lost a 13-year fight against extradition and was deported to Thailand in 2009.
The failure of the bank contributed to the turmoil that led to the devaluation of the Thai baht and subsequently the 1997 “Tom Yam Gung” financial crisis that affected most of East Asia.