Thaksin's son summoned in fraud probe

Panthongtae Shinawatra
PHOTO: The Nation/Asia News Network

Public prosecutors have summoned Panthongtae Shinawatra, the only son of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and two others on September 5 to hear a decision whether to indict them for money laundering.

This case stems from the Krungthai Bank loan scandal involving Thaksin’s government, which was deposed by a coup in 2006. 

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI), following an investigation into a complaint made by the Anti Money Laundering Office (Amlo) in 2016, has decided to charge Panthongtae, Kanchanapa Honghern and her husband Wanchai Honghern for money laundering. Kanchanapa was formerly personal secretary to Panthongtae’s mother, Khunying Potjaman Na Pombejra. 

DSI officials on Wednesday accompanied the three to meet public prosecutors at the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). The DSI produced many boxes of evidence.

Originally, Amlo also accused Kanchanapa’s mother Kesinee Jipiphob of money laundering. But the DSI has decided not to charge her, without giving a reason.

Panthongtae, Kanchanapa and Wanchai allegedly received combined money transfers of Bt36 million from the Krisda Mahanakorn property group, which had secured loans of over Bt8 billion from the state-owned Krungthai Bank. 

It had been found that the loans were approved dishonestly by senior executives of the bank, who were later jailed.

Thaksin, who is self-exiled overseas, is one of the 27 defendants in the criminal case stemming from the loan scandal.

After accepting the case from the DSI, public prosecutors told the three defendants to report on September 5, OAG deputy spokesman Prayuth Phetkhun said.

He added that before that date, the defendants would have to show up every time the public prosecutors have an appointment with them. 

The spokesman said a special prosecutor in charge of the case would study the DSI’s investigative report before a decision on indictment would be made.

The prosecutors working on the case would also consider whether to agree with the DSI decision not to charge Kesinee – originally the fourth suspect – for money laundering, according to the spokesman. 

In February last year, DSI brought charges against 13 other individuals and legal entities for money laundering in connection with the Krungthai loan scandal.

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