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SUNDAY, December 10, 2023

Srettha accuses Chuwit of 'blackmail' to sell THB2-billion land plot

Srettha accuses Chuwit of 'blackmail' to sell THB2-billion land plot
FRIDAY, August 18, 2023

Srettha Thavisin, a prime ministerial candidate of the Pheu Thai Party, on Friday accused Chuwit Kamolvisit of blackmailing him over a 2-billion-baht land deal.

Srettha said that Chuwit seemed to be holding a grudge against him and property giant Sansiri Plc, which last September refused to buy Chuwit’s land plot on Sukhumvit Soi 24.

According to Srettha, both sides had agreed on a price of 1.8 billion baht, lower than the 2 billion baht the seller wanted, but Chuwit’s land plot had a “legal obligation” with Raimon Land Plc, another leading property developer.

“Sansiri cannot buy a land plot with legal issues. You were upset, but the problem was with your land,” Srettha addressed Chuwit directly while speaking in a video clip posted on his Facebook account.

Srettha had served as president and chief executive officer of Sansiri before entering politics.

The property tycoon-turned-politician stressed on Friday that he had followed the law “100%” and had never done anything against the law or ethical values.

Chuwit transformed himself from a massage-parlour owner to a politician years ago and later became a political whistleblower.

He recently accused Srettha and Sansiri of tax evasion in the company’s land purchases. Srettha denied the allegations and filed a defamation lawsuit against Chuwit.

Srettha said on Friday that after Pheu Thai decided to nominate him as Thailand’s next prime minister, Chuwit allegedly sent a messenger to tell him to put a deposit for purchase of the land plot.

Srettha also claimed that Chuwit had allegedly conveyed a message to him through unnamed “seniors” that he would expose Srettha and tell the public why he was not suitable to become a prime minister.

“I was told to buy the land plot at 2 billion baht immediately without any condition. If not, Chuwit would continue to discredit me,” Srettha said in his video.

He said that his decision to enter politics was due to his intention to serve the country by creating a better economy and a better future for the people.

“Let me stress it. Poverty and inequality are my enemies. And my goal is to bring a better life for all Thais,” Srettha said.

Srettha also defended Sansiri against Chuwit’s allegations. He said the company has strictly followed good governance practices with transparency.

“The company has followed the law at every step. No unlawful method has been used to gain benefit for the company or any individual involved,” Srettha said.

He denied all the accusations made by Chuwit against Sansiri, which Srettha said were “full of untrue information”.

Srettha pointed out that Chuwit’s allegations of tax evasion often involved the sellers of land plots. He said Sansiri was the land buyer and had nothing to do with what the sellers did.