By THE NATION
The case arose after an investigation of the Victoria’s: The Secret Forever massage parlour, which is allegedly owned by the fugitive Kampol Weerathepsuporn and implicated in suspected underage prostitution and human trafficking.
Somyot, who now runs Thailand’s Football Association, met DSI investigators to explain Bt300 million that he said he had borrowed from Kampol while still serving as police chief.
He declined to give any details of his explanation, saying the case investigation was still ongoing.
The DSI had requested that Somyot provide information as a witness about the loan, which was found as part of the DSI investigation into Kampol’s financial transactions, according to the director of the DSI’s human-trafficking bureau, Pol Lt-Colonel Supat Thamthanarak.
On February 6, Somyot admitted to reporters that he had borrowed Bt300 million from Kampol, whom he described as a friend of 20 years, to help him resolve “financial issues”, but he said he had already repaid the loan.
The loan was not a secret, as he had reported it to the National Anti-Corruption Commission three years ago, he said.
“It was what it was – financial aid between friends, and the loaned money didn’t mysteriously disappear. It was duly repaid, with detectable transactions via the banking system,” he told reporters, adding that he had not asked Kampol the origin of the money.
Somyot’s revelations came after a report that an unnamed retired police chief and five others were to be summoned for questioning by the DSI over the human-trafficking case centring on the parlour, which was raided last month.
More than 100 women, most of whom were illegal migrants from neighbouring countries, were found on the premises. Officers also uncovered a ledger listing 20 officials who reportedly received free food, alcohol and suspected sexual services at the parlour.
Several people described as executive staff at the parlour were apprehended and arrest warrants issued for the alleged owners, including businessman Kampol and his wife Nipa Weerathepsuporn.