Actor will be asked to explain car deal: Thai police

Popular actor Pakorn Chatborirak will be summoned by police to give further statements about buying a Bt13.5 million (S$544,000) Lamborghini from a man suspected of involvement in a high-profile heist of more than Bt1.5 billion from King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Lat Krabang, a senior policeman said yesterday.

Pol Colonel Kornchai Khlaikhlueng said he had doubts over Pakorn's earlier statement that he did not know Kittisak Matthujad. But whether the luxury car, which Kittisak reportedly bought for Bt19.5 milion and resold to Pakorn just two months later, would be "frozen" or seized would depend on the Anti-Money Laundering Office, which will later take charge of a joint |investigation with the Crime Suppression Division.

The officer, a deputy CSD commander, said Pakorn had met with case investigators to give initial statements and produce purchase documents. "If Pakorn had met me I would have more questions for him. We need to check out his connection with the suspects, in response to his claim that he did not know any of them," he said.

Kornchai also warned people who had bought anything from this group of suspects including Kittisak, saying all items found to have been bought with money stolen from the KMITL would be "frozen" and seized.

Kittisak has booked a flight back to Bangkok on January 12, but police said they don't expect him to return. The officer said Kittisak may have Bt700 million of the Bt1.49 billion taken from the KMITL's coffers |over the past two years.

Kornchai said Pakorn bought the car from Car Max on Rama IX Road in Bangkok, and that Kittisak's sale of the car meant he lost Bt6 million in two months. He said losing so much money so quickly was "a practice that even real rich people don't adopt".

The officer said two other suspects in custody - Amporn Noisamrit, director of KMITL's Fiscal Office, and Songklod Sriprasong, director of a Bank of Ayudhya branch - had been implicated tightly by documents in police hands. But he said there were others "with high profiles" behind the theft but police did not have evidence against them yet.

A former KMITL rector, Thawil Phuengma, and four members of the management will today meet with CSD officers at 10am, a police source said. Thawil's term was during the time the money was lost from 2012 to 2014.