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DSI to freeze accounts PDRC leaders

Tarit will summon 18 PDRC leaders for questioning, warns donors against providing financial support to anti-govt protesters

THE DEPARTMENT of Special Investigation (DSI) announced yesterday that it would freeze the bank accounts of 18 leaders of the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee. It has also issued summonses to them to acknowledge sedition charges, issued with court approval.

The summonses will be issued today to the 17 leaders, including PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban, to report to the DSI on December 26 and 27.

The DSI also will freeze the two bank accounts the PDRC set up to receive contributions from supporters. "All the accounts will be frozen indefinitely until cases against the core leaders are complete," DSI director general Tarit Pengdith said at a press conference.

An arrest warrant has also been issued for Suthep on charges of sedition.

Of the 17 other core leaders, eight |are former Democrat MPs, namely Satit Wongnongtaey, Chumphol Julsai, Buddhipongse Punakanta, Akanat Promphan, Issara Somchai, Thaworn Senniam, Witthaya Kaewparadai and Nataphol Teepsuwan. The other leaders facing summonses are Ancharee Paireerak, Nitithorn Lamlua, Uthai Yordmanee, Samdin Lertbutr, retired Army General Preechai Iamsupan, Somkiat Pongpaiboon, Yossak Kosaiyakanont, Pol Lt-Colonel Supawat Supiyapanich and Somboon Thongburan.

In addition, Tarit has warned people providing financial and logistical support for the PDRC rallies against assisting the movement, especially registered businesses that have been funding the rallies and bus-owners who have been transporting PDRC supporters and supplies.

"The DSI is screening the facts to see if the buses are actually chartered or if the owners have been doing it as part of a [seditious] cause. We have details about all vehicles taking part in the rallies," he added.

Transaction details sought

Tarit went on to say that all bank accounts held by the 18 leaders would be frozen and the banks would be asked to hand over all transaction details over the past six months to the DSI. He added that his agency had done the same to some 300 core leaders of the red-shirt movement while it was staging rallies in Bangkok two years ago.

"Once the transaction details have been inspected, we will know how the money was donated and spent on rallies and activities. I would like to warn financiers or supporters against continuing to give their assistance or face the risk of being charged with aiding and abetting crimes," he said.

When asked about the possible detention of Suthep, who faces an arrest warrant over sedition charges, Tarit said the DSI saw no reason to rush for the arrest as it was difficult to act on it right away. Besides, he added, the statute of limitations for sedition was 20 years.

Tarit also issued a warning to those delivering speeches on stage at rally sites, saying they too might be summoned for questioning.

As for the anti-government protesters surrounding the DSI headquarters on |the two days, the PDRC leaders have |been summoned. Tarit said all inci-|dents would be recorded. Also, he said, |if the leaders decide not to show up, they had better have good reason for their absence.

Fewer than six representatives from foreign embassies, excluding the US and the UK, in Bangkok attended a tour of protest sites offered by the PDRC yesterday.

Suthep, who is wanted for his role in leading the ongoing anti-government rallies as well as leading seditious activities and illegally entering several government properties, announced last night that he was launching massive street marches in a move to force caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to step down. He said he would lead a street march today and tomorrow, as well as a massive march on Sunday.


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