Activist seeks probe into whether Premchai has violated Securities and Exchange Act

national February 13, 2018 07:35

By The Nation

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Srisuwan Janya, a prominent political and environmental activist, will petition the stock-market regulator to investigate whether Premchai Karnasuta, president of the huge Stock Exchange of Thailand-listed construction company Italian-Thai Development (ITD), has violated the Securities and Exchange Act.



He said he would file the petition to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday.

Premchai, 63, and three others have been charged with poaching after being arrested at the Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary – a World Heritage Site – in Kanchanaburi province last week.

Guns and ammunition as well as the carcasses of protected wild animals, including an endangered black leopard, were found near their campsite.

Srisuwan said the charge of illegal hunting against Premchai, an executive of ITD that has won state contracts for several mega-infrastructure projects, showed his alleged activities were contrary to corporate governance and several articles of the Securities and Exchange Act.

He added that the Act stipulated that the executive boards of public companies must perform their duty with responsibility, prudence and honesty, including abiding by the laws, so that if any executive of a company violated the law it was justifiable for the SEC to delist the company from the stock exchange.

Therefore, Srisuwan reasoned, if Premchai were found guilty of contravening the Securities and Exchange Act, the regulator could punish him as the president of a listed company and his company could risk being delisted.

However, Kesara Manchusee, president of the Stock Exchange of Thailand, said last week that Premchai’s arrest could not be considered a fault under the Securities and Exchange Act, which stipulated that corruption findings against the chief executives of listed companies depended on Supreme Court verdicts.

ITD is the constructor of many well-known infrastructure projects, including Suvarnabhumi Airport, the BTS Skytrain system, and multiple expressway and highway projects across the country.

Last year alone, ITD won several mega-infrastructure projects worth a combined Bt130 billion, including the Bt35-billion Mae Moh power-plant contract.

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