Sommai Kongwisaisuk, commissioner of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB), said yesterday (Feb 15) that the investigation found that Mr Akarakit’s total income from his racing career and running Area 51, a shop selling auto accessories for big bikes, was insufficient to purchase a Lamborghini Gallardo.
Lt Gen Sommai said Mr Akarakit, 30, also known as “Benz Racing”, contacted police yesterday, saying he would meet NSB investigators to clarify his acquisition of the luxury car and his KTM 1290 Super Duke motorbike at about 2pm.
However, he failed to appear at the NSB. .
Lt Gen Sommai, however, said Mr Akarakit was still required to give a statement to NSB investigators today (Feb 16) as he was summoned by police earlier, adding he had to declare his ownership of all assets and sources of income.
Meanwhile, investigators examined Mr Akarakit’s financial records and found he had to pay B250,000 in monthly instalments for the Lamborghini.
Investigators also found B300,000 had been wired to his account each month by Natthaphol “Boy” Nakkham, one of the suspects linked to Xaysana. They suspected Mr Natthaphol wired the money to Mr Akarakit’s account to help him pay for the car while giving him extra as payment for him posing as the owner of the car instead of Mr Natthaphol.
The luxury car was legally imported. The previous owner was a Songkhla resident who later sold the vehicle to a used-car outlet via Kiatnakin Bank leasing, according to the probe.
The vehicle was again sold to a similar vehicle outlet, called Buono Auto Clinic, on Rama III Rd where Mr Akarakit purchased the car via Ratchthani Leasing Plc, a leasing firm for Lamborghini.
The garage’s owner, Natthawat Huangmanee, alias “Ek Buono”, was also summoned to give a statement to police last week.
Mr Natthawat earlier said he had brought documents concerning the sale of the Lamborghini to officials, insisting the car was purchased legally several months ago.
The Revenue Department’s report indicated Area 51 had been closed down for three years. The shop made huge losses during its operation, according to the police probe.
According to police, the Office of the Narcotics Control Board and the Anti-Money Laundering Office impounded Mr Akarakit's assets including the luxury car and the motorbike, which was valued at more than B17 million.
Mr Akarakit has been told to declare his acquisition of the assets to authorities within 90 days. Otherwise, all properties will be put up for auction.
Also yesterday, Sanchai Nopparat, a lawyer for Ratchthani Leasing Plc, submitted financial documents relating to Mr Akarakit’s luxury vehicle purchase to the NSB.
He insisted the company provided leasing services for the man, saying the car had yet to be paid off.
Whether he would be summonsed for questioning depended on investigators after they examined the papers, Mr Sanchai added.
Mr Akarakit was questioned at the NSB on Feb 3, where he told officers he borrowed B6 million in cash from Mr Natthaphol as a down payment for the Lamborghini, according to officials.
Mr Natthaphol was arrested on Feb 1, almost two weeks after police apprehended Xaysana at Suvarnabhumi airport on Jan 19 after he arrived on a flight from Phuket.
Based on Mr Natthaphol’s earlier testimony, police said the Lamborghini belongs to the drug network but was left in the care of Mr Akarakit, who is also the husband of TV actress Napapa “Patt” Tantrakul.
Police needed to question Mr Akarakit again as his account and evidence did not match Mr Natthaphol’s statements.
Mr Akarakit was required to present evidence in relation to his ownership of the vehicle to determine whether he lawfully obtained the car.
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