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General Denied Bail After Being Charged in Bt44-million Fraud Case

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A Criminal Court has denied bail for a retired general arrested for the alleged fraud of 44-million-baht over non-existent LED bulb replacement contracts with schools.

The criminal court on Wednesday turned bail for Gen Sompote Ngerncharoen, 63, despite his family offering assets worth 3 million baht. The court decided with Police that sought court approval to extend his detention.

Gen Sompote was formerly an adviser to the 4th Army commander and assistant chief of staff of the defence ministry. He was taken into custody on Wednesday on an arrest warrant the court issued on Sept 19.

Police charged him with public fraud causing damage amounting to 44.33 million baht. They alleged he collected from money from seven companies as his “facilitation fee.” The fee was claimed for LED bulb replacement contracts with 100 schools in Khon Kaen province.

According to the Bangkok Post police told the court the fraud occurred in March last year. Gen Sompote did not produce the contracts.

The court rejected a bail request because the large amount involved made him a flight risk.

Gen Sompote was then taken to Bangkok Remand Prison. The first detention period ends on Oct 27.