Two more sought for Thailand's KMITL embezzlement

Two more sought for Thailand's KMITL embezzlement

Two others taken to Min Buri Court, remanded in jail Police are looking for the fifth and sixth suspects - identified as Kitisak Mattujad and Sombat Sopradit - for their alleged roles in the embezzling of Bt1.6 billion from King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Lat Krabang (KMITL) bank accounts.

Two other accused, who surrendered to police recently, were taken to Min Buri Court yesterday, to seek an initial 12 days of detention until January 7.

All four suspects in custody have claimed they are innocent.

The 26-year-old graduate student, Poonsak Boonsawat, whose bank account received Bt80 million before most of that sum was wired to others - turned himself a few days ago, while 32-year-old Jariwat Sahaporn-udomkarn - who had an account that received Bt55 million from Poonsawat - surrendered to police early yesterday.

The court yesterday rejected an application for bail for Poonsak, filed by relatives, after police objected - because of the huge damage and the risk of flight or evidence tampering. Jariwat had no one to apply for bail. The pair were sent to the Min Buri Remand Prison.

Earlier, police arrested former KMITL finance division head Ampon Noisamrit, 56, and former manager of Bank of Ayudhya's Big C Srinakarin branch, Songklod Sriprasong, 40.

Arrest warrants were issued for more suspects identified as Poonsak, Kitisak, Jariwat and Sombat. A police source, however, said they suspected Kitisak has already fled the country.

Crime Suppression Division (CSD) deputy chief Pol Colonel Nos Sawetlek said that Jariwat, during yesterday's interrogation, denied any wrongdoing or knowledge of the embezzlement. Nos said police believed this case was carried out like a gang, with many accomplices, all of whom knew the origin of the money and the method to pass on the money, linked by unnamed middle people.

Nos said that once the large sum of money was received, it was divided and used to buy up houses, land and assets to launder the money.

Asked if police would summon the previous KMITL administrators for information, Nos said police would summon all related people as witnesses by tomorrow. He said police found it intriguing that the embezzled money was being wired with alleged forged documents since 2012 but no one had found reasons to become suspicious.

He said police and the Anti-Money Laundering Office would hunt the missing money, if it was used to buy assets - and find more accomplices.

A source at the CSD said that police yesterday applied for warrants to search Poonsak's condominium and house as well as Kitisak's company to find evidence and links to the case.

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