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Prosecutors at odds on Chuwong shares theft case

BANGKOK: A deputy attorney-general will decide whether to indict suspects in the alleged theft of B263-million in shares from late construction tycoon Chuwong Sae Tang, as prosecutors cannot agree on the case.

accidents, death, homicide, police, transport,


Bangkok Post

Monday 29 August 2016, 05:28PM


The Lexus sport utility vehicle owned by Banyin Tangpakornin which billionaire contractor Chuwong Sae Tang was found dead in the front passenger seat last year. Photo: Somchai Poomlard
The Lexus sport utility vehicle owned by Banyin Tangpakornin which billionaire contractor Chuwong Sae Tang was found dead in the front passenger seat last year. Photo: Somchai Poomlard

Meanwhile, Mr Chuwong’s family say they are prepared to go it alone and bring charges in court.

Prayut Phetkhun, deputy spokesman of the Office of the Attorney-General, said today (Aug 29) that a prosecutor at the Department of Southern Bangkok Litigation who handled the share theft case had decided against indictment. However, a deputy director of the department believed the case was strong enough and supported indictment.

The department’s spokesman Somnuek Siangkong said attorney-general Pongniwat Yuthapanboriparn had called for the investigators’ case report and assigned a deputy attorney-general to make the decision.

If the deputy attorney-general supported the indictment, the suspects would be arraigned in court. If not, the Office of the Attorney-General would ask the national police chief for his opinion.

If the police chief supported the indictment, the attorney-general would make the final decision, Mr Somnuek said.

“The process is normal... It should not take a long time,” he said.

Suspects in the share theft case are Banyin Tangpakornin, 52-year-old former deputy commerce minister and Nakhon Sawan MP; former model Kanthana Siwathanapol, 26; former stock broker Uracha Wachirakulton, 27, and her mother Srithara Phromma, 52.

Police at the Crime Suppression Division charged them with theft, reception of stolen property and document forgery to facilitate share theft. Police also accused Mr Banyin of planning the murder of Mr Chuwong, 50, to cover up the share theft.

The two men met during a course at the National Defence College years ago and remained friends.

On June 8 last year shares owned by Mr Chuwong worth about B35 million were transferred to Ms Uracha who in turn transferred them to her mother. More shares worth B228 million were transferred to Ms Kanthana on June 22, four days before Mr Chuwong’s death. Ms Uracha and Ms Kanthana both claimed they were Chuwong’s mistresses.

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According to police, Mr Banyin planned the murder of Mr Chuwong before the securities firm routinely reported the share transfers to the tycoon at the end of June 2015.

On June 26 last year, he picked Mr Chuwong up from his construction company Standard Performance in Lat Phrao area of Bangkok and took him to a golf course in Bang Na area.

On the way back to Mr Chuwong’s home, Mr Banyin took the victim to meet other people police have not identified.

Mr Chuwong was killed by being hit on the head and face. He suffered multiple wounds, including a severe injury on the left side of his head. His neck was also broken by the assault.

Then the body was placed on the front passenger seat of Mr Banyin’s vehicle with the safety belt left unfastened. Mr Banyin drove the vehicle into a eucalyptus tree 43 metres off the side of Chalerm Phra Kiat Rama IX Rd in Prawet district, trying to make it appear like a fatal accident to conceal the crime, police allege.

The former deputy commerce minister was arrested in Nakhon Ratchasima province on June 28 for the alleged premeditated murder and on the following day was released on bail of B2 million on the condition that he must not leave the country without court permission and must report in every 12 days.

Sirirat Sae Tang, Mr Chuwong’s elder sister, and Wanpen Thanathamsiri, Mr Chuwong’s wife, today sent a petition to the attorney-general for fair treatment in the alleged murder case.

Their lawyer Anek Khamchum said if public prosecutors indicted the suspects on the share case, the family would seek to be listed as a co-plaintiff. If prosecutors decided not to indict, the family would press its own lawsuit.

Read original story here.

 

 

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