Businessman Ekkayuth Anchanbutr, owner of Thaiinsider.com, an anti-Thaksin regime website, returned to Thailand in 2004 after the statute of limitations expired in the controversial Charter Investment pyramid scheme case in which he was allegedly involved
Ekkayuth, born in June 1959, was educated at a US high school and returned to Thailand to operate a construction business before furthering his education at the Pacific University in Hawaii.
He returned to the country to start a business selling commodities, and forward trading of commodities, before establishing Charter Investment in 1982. His company expanded into the real estate business, using the profits he made from a spate of domestic interest loan rates at 12 per cent and foreign interest rates as low as three per cent.
He attracted funds and investment from many soldiers and politicians apart from general members of the |public.
In 1982, a large number of people were drawn into investing in the pyramid fund schemes. In 1984, the Prem Tinsulanond government issued an anti-pyramid fund law and arrested major fund manager Chamoi Tippayaso. Ekkayuth fled to Germany after hearing an arrest warrant had been issued for |him.
In 1985, police seized his assets and put his company up for auction after thousands of people filed complaints that his cheques had bounced.
During his stay in Germany, Ekkayuth met Manoon Roopkachorn and with union labour leaders. The two led a failed coup attempt against the Prem government. Two foreign reporters were killed in the incident. Ekkayuth fled to Geneva and New York.
His name reappeared in the media after he met businessman Amarin Korman at a Democrat Party meeting, and tried to persuade the party to topple the Thaksin government. The Democrats turned the proposal down.
Both later formed a political group called – People Power for the Country and Monarchy – which led a rally to oust the Thaksin government at Sanam Luang but failed to effect any change |as they could not attract many supporters.
Ekkayuth has been involved with several political cases – such as his revelation that PM Yingluck Shinawatra allegedly skipped a House meeting to have a private meeting with businessmen at the Four Seasons Hotel.
He sued Bangkok Police Chief Pol Lt-General Kamronwit Thoopkrachang for libel in connection with an assault on a karaoke shop manager on a road parallel to Ram-Indra expressway.