The Bangkok South Criminal Court has sentenced the former deputy commerce minister to eight years in jail for a forgery crime. Pol Lt Col Banyin Tangpakorn forged documents to transfer 263 million baht worth of shares.
The ruling also brings an end to the case that was believed to be behind Pol Lt Col Banyin’s alleged decision to kidnap the older brother of a judge hearing his case.
It is believed the Feb 4 kidnapping aimed to influence the judge’s verdict in the share scandal.
Wirachai Sakuntaprasoet, 70, was murdered by the kidnappers. Which also forced the judge to withdraw from the document forgery trial, according to the Bangkok Post.
The court yesterday found Pol Lt Col Banyin guilty on forgery crime for colluding with two associates. Kanthana Siwathanapol, a former golf caddie, and stockbroker Uracha Wachirakulton. They illegally transfer the assets of late billionaire contractor Chuwong Sae Tang to Kanthana and Uracha’s mother Srithara Phromma.
Kanthana and Urachain given 4 years over forgery crime
Kanthana and Uracha were each also given four years in prison. However, judges acquitted Ms Srithara Phromma, due to insufficient evidence.
The verdict said Uracha needed to transfer 35 million baht worth of shares to her mother because stock market rules prohibited her from receiving transferred shares.
Most of billionaire Chuwong’s shares were illegally put in Kanthana’s name. The court said there was no evidence to support the defendants’ claim that Chuwong had given the shares to them willingly.
However, there is evidence, including CCTV footage, showing that Pol Lt Col Banyin is close to both Kanthana and Uracha, the verdict said. The shares were transferred before Chuwong died in a car crash in Bangkok’s Prawet district in 2015. The vehicle was driven by Pol Lt Col Banyin, who only sustained minor injuries.
Chuwong’s relatives believed the businessman was murdered. Public prosecutors agreed in 2018 to indict Pol Lt Col Banyin for premeditated murder. The court has yet to rule on the murder charge. Its pending the outcome of the share transfer forgery crime case.