MONDAY, April 15, 2024
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The enormous wealth of embattled property tycoon Anant Asavabhokhin

The enormous wealth of embattled property tycoon Anant Asavabhokhin

The name Anant Asavabhokhin has made national headlines after the Office of the Attorney-General on Friday said that it would charge the property tycoon with money laundering over his alleged involvement in the Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative (KCUC) fund embezzlement scandal.

The Nation explores the vast wealth of Anant, the former chairman of Land and Houses Plc, and the case that has come to haunt him.

Anant, 73, was among Thailand’s top 30 billionaires in 2023, according to Forbes Thailand, with total assets of 42.2 billion baht.

He was also ninth among Thailand’s richest stockholders in 2023, in rankings compiled by Money & Banking Magazine. He held 23.93% shares of Land and Houses (LH) Plc, valued at 22.3 billion baht. On February 28, the value of his LH shareholdings dropped to 21.59 billion baht.

LH reported investments of 14.56 billion baht in subsidiaries and joint ventures, as of September 2023.

LH also holds majority shares in Quality House Plc (24.98%) and Home Product Center Plc (30.23%).

These companies reported investments of 14.38 billion baht and 2.14 billion baht in subsidiaries and joint ventures, respectively, as of December 2023.

Meanwhile, LH’s financial arm — LH Financial Group Plc — reported investments totalling 21.59 billion baht in subsidiaries and joint ventures as of December 2023.

The money laundering case against Anant involves his alleged purchase of a 46-rai (7.36 hectares) plot of land in Khlong Luang district of Pathum Thani province from M-Home SPV 2 Co and Supachai Srisupa-aksorn, the convicted former KCUC chairman, for 93.78 million baht.

The land was later sold in June 2015 to Thai Agro Exchange Co for 492.35 million baht. Anant allegedly paid 468.73 million baht back to M-Home SPV 2 Co, which donated over 300 million baht to a foundation called Ubasika Chan Khon Nok Yung Thong. The foundation is connected to Wat Phra Dhammakaya in Pathum Thani province. Anant had reportedly signed a letter of intent that he would donate the purchased land to the foundation.

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