PANTHONGTAE SHINAWATRA, the son of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, reported to the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) on Wednesday to give a statement on allegations that he had dishonestly accepted a Bt10-million cheque from Wichai Krisd
A source said Panthongtae contacted DSI officials, saying he wanted to give a statement about the case on Wednesday because he would be otherwise engaged today, when he was originally scheduled to meet the investigators.
The Bt10-million cheque from Wichai is linked to a corruption case in which Thaksin was accused of ordering Krungthai Bank executives to extend a Bt9.9-billion loan to Krisada Mahanakorn Plc group against highly inflated collateral.
In August last year, former top executives of state-owned Krungthai Bank – Suchai Chaovisit and Viroj Nualkhae – were each sentenced to 18 years in jail by the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political-Office holders for their role in dishonestly extending Bt9.9 billion in loans to companies affiliated with Krisda Mahanakorn Plc.
Ten other credit officers of the bank and executives of Krisda Mahanakorn-affiliated companies, who received loans from the KTB, were each sentenced to 12 years in jail.
Officials found that the loan extended to the group was paid to Panthongtae, who runs How Come Entertainment.
Kanchanapa Honghern, personal secretary of Khunying Potjaman na Pombejra, Thaksin’s former wife, deferred giving a statement indefinitely. Watcharin Panurat, the prosecutor who joined the investigation in this case, pulled out after former Democrat Party MP Watchara Petthong said his role was inappropriate as he has ties to witnesses.
Weerayut Netiwuthipong has been appointed to replace Watcharin. On Wednesday, DSI officials had prosecutors join them to hear Panthongtae’s statement.