Thesis adviser banked millions 'for student'
University thesis adviser Sombat Chantarawong yesterday resigned from his post at Thammasat University.The resignation followed a session where he gave his side of the story in regard to Bt27 million of allegedly ill-gotten wealth linked to retired Defence official Gen Satien Permthong-in.Sombat said he got to know the Permthong-in family seven years ago while advising Satien's daughter Nichapat, who was then a student at Krirk University.
Nichapat took his advice and enrolled in graduate studies at Thammasat University. He was subsequently introduced to Nichapat's mother Nitnicha.
His involvement in the family's financial transaction began in 2011. Nitnicha cited family trouble as the reason she asked him to act as a nominee to hold Bt18 million in cash on her behalf.
He said he later decided to deposit the cash in his various bank accounts for safekeeping.
Natnicha later took the cash back before seeking and receiving his consent to buy plots of land in under his name, as a nominee.
Late last year, Natnicha informed him she had sold the plots. She then sent him a Bt27 million cheque, saying it was the earnings done in his name.
He said he had already given a statement to the National Anti-Corruption Commission, outlining his involvement in the money trail.
He said he cashed the cheque and deposited the funds in the Thammasat University Savings and Credit Cooperative.
In recent months, he has been making a series of cash withdrawals for Bt1 million to Bt2 million at a time to return the money to Natnicha.
He said Nichapat often picked up the cash on her mother's behalf.
He was unaware, he said, that the funds were ill-gotten gains. Natnicha had apologised for involving him in the transactions, he added.
Today, Sombat is scheduled to submit his financial documents to the NACC.