By The Nation
Bail was granted with the condition that he does not leave the country without court permission.
Crime Suppression Division (CSD) officers earlier escorted the 36-year-old Panusak to apply for the Southern Bangkok Criminal Court’s order for his first 12-day detention period.
Officers objected to his release on bail on the grounds that the charges could carry more than three years in prison and involved significant financial damages, while the suspect might tamper with evidence or flee.
Panusak was arrested on a public fraud charge on Wednesday outside the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases after he filed a suit against the Department of Special Investigation over May 24 raids on his showrooms, in which more than 30 vehicles were seized.
CSD deputy chief Pol Colonel Jirapop Phuridech said the fraud investigation had found that four people conspired to commit the offence and officers had secured arrest warrants for them on Tuesday. The suspects are Panusak, his sister Thitipan Techaterasiri, 32, The Gallery Auto Import Co executive Ying Sri-anan, 42, and a female suspect named Kanittha Sanguanwong.
The CSD has accused Panusak of selling cars that were taken out of a duty-free zone without paying tax and put on display at Ying’s company’s showroom, police said. Panusak had allegedly presented himself as the showroom’s owner.
Car buyers wired money to STB Autocar Co Ltd, where Thitipan served as an executive, while Kanittha signed papers to withdraw the cars from the duty-free zone on behalf of Panusak’s company, Austin Autocar Co, police said.
Thitipan was arrested and notified of the conspiracy charge on Wednesday while she was visiting Panusak. She was then released without having to post bail because she was a codefendant due to her position in the company, Jirapop said.
The damaged party directly accused Panusak, he said, adding that Thitipan would present herself for questioning later, as police would investigate steps in the process including the importation and distribution of the cars and financial transactions.
Police on Thursday afternoon apprehended Kanittha at her home in Nonthaburi and will apply for a court order to detain her tomorrow. Police planned to object her bail release as she had also been specifically identified by the plaintiff.
The case stemmed from a complaint filed by a customer who bought a Bt8-million Porsche from Panusak but had problems with Customs and the police.
Jirapop has said more fraud charges will be filed soon.