Thai actress and wife of Benz Racing asks for more time over money laundering case

PHOTO: The Nation/ANN

The lawyer for actress Napapa "Patt" Tantrakul has asked for more time to submit financial documents to the Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB), its deputy chief Pol Maj-General Chatri Paisalsilpa said on Monday (March 27).

Investigators had previously set Tuesday as the deadline for handing in the documents, but Napapa requested a postponement until early April.

Chatri also revealed that investigators had issued a summons for an event organiser who reportedly hired Napapa for 1 million baht (S$41,000) to explain the employment contract.

Napapa had submitted the contract to the police when she went to testify along with her mother-in-law on March 17.

The 30-year-old actress was asked to explain the 10 million baht that was transferred to her accounts but she claimed that she had earned the money through her own work, Bangkok Post reported.

Suspected drug lord linked to Thailand and Laos celebrities

  • Xaysana Keopimpha, an alleged drug warlord from Laos was arrested in Bangkok on January 19 after police were tipped off that he and three other people were flying in from Phuket.
  • According to Thai police, his network has cultivated unprecedented connections, with celebrities both in Thailand and Laos believed to have assisted him with money laundering and asset concealment.
  • “He had portrayed himself as a rich man from Laos. When he came here, he threw parties inviting entertainment figures and celebrities from many other fields of Thailand as guests. After the ties developed, he used them for money laundering,” said police.
  • His Facebook account shows only sporadic activity, with his latest post being an update of his profile photo on December 19.
  • But a few photos show selfies taken with luxury cars such as Lamborghinis and Mercedes-Benzes, which appear to have been taken at his house in Laos.
  • Xaysana, known in Laos as Hia Lop, was born in Khammouane province of Laos, opposite Nakhon Phanom’s Ta Uten district in Thailand.
  • Social network users have been accustomed to seeing photos of Xaysana posing with the country’s celebrities and young family members of politicians.
  • Famous Thai bike racer “Benz Racing”, who is married to a well-known actress, is the first celebrity to be exposed as an alleged accomplice in Xaysana’s network in Thailand.
  • Akarakit Worarojcharoendet, who is better known as “Benz Racing”, is married to Thai actress Napapa “Patt” Tantrakul, who is pregnant.
  • Police suspect that several celebrities in Thailand might have assisted Xaysana with money laundering and asset concealment.
  • Napapa’s elder brother, Anucha Tankrakul, said yesterday that Akarakit had talked to him over the phone and denied any involvement in the drug trade.
  • Akarakit Worarojcharoendet reported himself to police at the Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) at 3.30pm Friday. Accompanying him was his mother and a lawyer.

NSB investigators are checking the actress's assets and various sources of income to check if they are linked to the alleged money-laundering activities of her husband, motorbike racing star Akarakit Worarojcharoendet, also known as Benz Racing.

Akarakit has been charged with conspiracy with commit money laundering and has been released on bail, on condition he does not leave the country without court permission.

He is accused of buying a Lamborghini sports car with drug money from a network led by alleged Laotian drug kingpin Xaysana Keopimpa.

Napapa married Akarakit last November and gave birth to a baby boy in February this year.

The actress with her husband and their baby.Photo: The Nation/ANN
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