Bail granted for pregnant 'pretty' who received over $8 million from late tycoon

A heavily-pregnant woman has surrendered to police to face charges relating to her receiving more than Bt220 million (S$8 million) worth of shares from the late construction tycoon Chuwong Saetang - a transfer police deem suspicious.

Chuwong died on June 26, just days after the share transfer took place, prompting his family to lodge complaints with police.

It remains unknown if Chuwong really died in a car accident.

Kantana Siwathanapon, who was more than 20 years younger than Chuwong, surrendered yesterday and has denied any wrongdoing.

She has told police that she and the tycoon had been romantically involved, that she is carrying his child and he willingly transferred his shares to her.

Police, however, have charged her with theft, falsifying rights documents and using falsified rights documents.

Kantana was brought to the Criminal Court yesterday for temporary detention, but her lawyer managed to secure her a temporary release.

The Court agreed to release her on Bt5 million bail.

She is expected to give birth in the next two weeks.

Her lawyer, Sansern Senachu, said it was not the right time to discuss if his client would allow the baby to undergo DNA tests to determine if the child was Chuwong's.

Three other suspects in the Chuwong share transfer case were released on bail earlier. Among them is Pol Lt-Colonel Banyin Tangpakorn, a former deputy commerce minister.

Banyin has told police that after a golfing round with Chuwong on June 26, he was driving him home when the car crash occurred.

Chuwong's family suspected foul play after discovering the huge volume of shares transferred to Kantana and another woman two days earlier.

In a related development, Banyin yesterday submitted a petition to national police chief General Somyot Poompanmuang asking him not to transfer the Chuwong case to the Crime Suppression Division.

"The CSD has searched six of my houses illegitimately," Banyin claimed. He said he would also lodge a complaint with the National Anti-Corruption Commission because he felt he had not been treated fairly by the CSD.