Court sets witness hearings set in ‘zero-dollar tour’ case

Breaking News March 27, 2017 18:20

By Kesinee Taengkhieo
The Nation

A judge at Bangkok's Ratchadapisek Criminal Court on Monday went over the evidence in the case against 13 defendants accused of operating a “zerodollar tour” network, which is deemed illegal and damaging to the Thai tourism industry. 



As the prosecution prepared 60 witnesses to testify, while the defendant lined up 31, the court scheduled 22 witness hearing sessions to be held for this case, the first on May 30 and the last on September 1. 

The lawsuit was filed against Fuan Travel Co Ltd executive Somkiat Khongcharoen, 58; Fuan Travel Co Ltd executive Thawal Jaemchokchai, 60; OA Transport Co Ltd; OA Transport executive Wasurat Rojrungrangsi, 27; Royal Gems International Co Ltd; Thai Herb Co Ltd; Bangkok Handicraft Centre Co Ltd; Royal Paradise Co Ltd; Wasurat's mother Nisa Rojrungrangsi, 62, who served as executives at four accused companies; OA Transport executive Thongchai Rungrojrangsi, 61; Ban Khanom Thongthip Co Ltd; Ban Khanom Thongthip executive Saithip Rojrungrangsi, 36; and Fuan executive Winij Chanmanee, 70. 

The 13 face charges of conspiring in secret activities with unlawful intention; causing damage to the local tourism industry by operating illegal and unfair tour businesses; and violating antimoney laundering laws.

The lawsuit states that, between March 24 and August 31, 2016, the defendants allegedly brought tourists from mainland China via very cheap tourism packages and took them to buy overpriced goods and services at shops from their network, among which they would split benefits in percentages. 

It is alleged the operation caused damage worth Bt98 million. 

 

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