By Jessada Jantarak,
Somyot assigns Prawut to Chuwong case; Kantana moves house
INFLUENTIAL figures have been trying to interfere with ongoing investigations into the death of construction tycoon Chuwong Saetang and the transfer of nearly Bt300 million worth of his shares to two women, National Police chief |Pol General Somyot Poompan-muang said yesterday.
The share transfers took place just days before Chuwong died in a ‘suspicious’ car accident on June 26.
“I’ve heard that some figures are trying to use their money and influence to interfere in police work,” Somyot said yesterday, “So, I am going to ensure justice by having a high-ranking police officer at the National Police Office (NPO) directly oversee these cases.”
Assistant national police chief Pol Lt-General Prawut Thavorn-siri, who is also the police spokesman, has now been entrusted with the mission of supervising the probe into Chuwong’s death and transfer of shares to Kantana Siwathanapon and Uracha Wachirakun-thon.
The two women received the shares just days before the billionaire passed away on the night of June 26 in what Pol Lt-Colonel Banyin Tangpakorn, a former deputy commerce minister and MP, said was a fatal car accident.
Banyin was giving Chuwong a ride home that night, when their vehicle crashed into a roadside tree, according to the politician.
Chuwong’s family has suspected foul play because Banyin had
sustained no injuries and the shifting of Chuwong’s shares worth millions suspiciously to others just days before.
“The cases involving the death and share transfers will be transferred to the Crime Suppression Division. But they will all be under the supervision of the NPO,” Somyot said.
Prawut yesterday listened to Kantana’s testimonies himself. The woman, who says she is pregnant with Chuwong’s child, told police yesterday that some ‘robust’ men had been monitoring her at her home, which caused her to seek refuge at a relative’s house.
Kantana did not speak to reporters. Her lawyer, Seksan Senachu, however, told media that his phone records were checked after their names appeared in relation to Chuwong’s cases. Asked about reports that Kantana had been dating another man, Seksan said “They broke up before she met Chuwong”.
Uracha, another recipient of Chuwong’s shares, is scheduled to testify to police for the second time today.
In a related development, Chuwong’s family yesterday called on the Central Institute of Forensic Science (CIFS) to help determine the exact cause of Chuwong’s death.
CIFS director-general Dr Porntip Rojanasunan said her agency could officially take action on the case only if the Justice Ministry or the Department of Special Investigation gave a nod to the relatives’ request.
“But at this point, I can provide advice,” she said.