$71.8 million UFUN assets smuggled to Malaysia, say police

$71.8 million UFUN assets smuggled to Malaysia, say police

Around BT1.8 billion (S$71.8 million) of UFUN Thailand's investment assets belonging to Thailand-based investors has been withdrawn and wired to Malaysia for laundering, chief investigator Pol Lt-General Suwira Songmetta said yesterday.

The latest withdrawal of Bt779 million in cash was intercepted by police on Wednesday. Three Thai nationals and one Malaysian were arrested in Padang Besar for attempting to smuggle the cash into Malaysia, he said. The four suspects have also been charged with conspiring to launder money in addition to fraudulent investment and lending.

Anyone found involved in the smuggling of cash or wiring of money associated with the UFUN scheme will be charged with money-laundering, which will subject them to seizure of assets, said Suwira, an assistant national police chief.

Police revealed that Bt1.816 billion had been withdrawn from 33 bank accounts and had been smuggled out of Thailand in two ways - Boon Kiat Choo, who was arrested together with the three Thais, smuggled the cash to Malaysia, or a Penang-based man received the money from Boon, after he withdrew the money from a Penang bank.

Suwira said a singer - Supakij Tangthatsawas - had made an appointment with the police yesterday to explain his alleged links with UFUN as a key endorser, who openly invited the public to invest in UFUN. The officer also named comedian Theerachart "Ood Pentor" Theerawitthayaku and country singer Khwannapha "Lala" Ruengsri as such endorsers who would be later summoned for questioning.

Suwira said the Malaysian police were willing to probe a suspected link between a key UFUN Thailand suspect on the run - Maj-General Athiwat Sunpan - after he was found taking a photo with the son of a high-ranking Malaysian politician.

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