Billions in assets frozen in money-laundering cases

politics October 11, 2017 01:00

By THE NATION

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THE ANTI-MONEY Laundering Office (AMLO) yesterday decided to freeze more than Bt2.3 billion of assets in connection with alleged fraud in the former rice-pledging scheme as well as an embezzlement case associated with the National Office of Buddhism (NOB), a senior official said.



Based on the August 25 verdict in the rice-pledging scheme, the AMLO found 25 items in property and other assets belonging to suspect Thanyaporn Chansakulporn were concealed under the name of other people at the TC Property Company. The office would freeze assets worth Bt 2.3 billion, said Romasit Wiriyasan, who is acting on behalf of the AMLO chief. 

Thanyaporn is a daughter of Apichart Chansakulporn, alias Sia Pieng, whose assets worth Bt13 billion had already been seized in connection with fraud in the rice-pledging scheme, he said.

Rice businessman Apichart reportedly has close connections with Pheu Thai Party politicians. He was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for embezzlement and fraud.

Fraud charges in the rice-pledging scheme were a political blow to the government of Yingluck Shinawatra, who was convicted last month for malfeasance in office. It was found that as prime minister at the time, she ignored scandal surrounding the project. 

At the same meeting yesterday, the AMLO decided to freeze 33 assets worth more than Bt71 million in connection with embezzlement of temple-restoration funds bestowed by the NOB.

The assets belong to the NBO’s former directors, Phanom Sornsilp and Nopparat Benjawatananan, many other officials, former Buddhist monks and laymen accused of embezzlement.

It is alleged that between 2012 and 2016 they embezzled hundreds of millions of baht that was meant for temple restorations.

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