Tue, June 28, 2022


Public companies investigated for alleged ties to illegal prostitution

INVESTIGATORS CONTINUE to probe whether listed companies received ill-gotten gains from the scandal-tainted Victoria’s: The Secret Forever massage parlour.

Last week, the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) called on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to look into possible links because Kampol Weerathepsuporn, the de-facto owner of Victoria’s, has been a major shareholder in many companies on the stock market. The massage parlour has been accused of human trafficking and prostitution, 
Kampol, 61, and his wife Nipa, 68, have gone into hiding, police have said. 
DSI deputy chief Pol Colonel Songsak Raksaksakul said yesterday that money from Victoria’s flowed to the bank accounts of the couple and other shareholders of Amarin Onsen, which operates the venue. 
He refused to divulge more details and DSI chief Pol Colonel Paisit Wongmuang said yesterday: “I cannot confirm any link at the moment because probes have not yet finished.” 
A source familiar with the ongoing investigation, meanwhile, said Kampol’s financial transactions were complicated. 
“The SEC and the Anti-Money Laundering Office are now working together in the examination,” |said the source, who requested anonymity. 
Relevant authorities have also planned to examine Kampol’s personal ties and communications with various figures, added the source. 
In a related development, another source who requested anonymity said a public company was preparing to sue BEC World, its board members and its TV news hosts – Chuvit Kamolvisit, Pitchayatan Chanput and Pasit Apinyawat – for allegedly slandering it on the Channel 3 television station. 
“The lawsuit stems from Chuvit’s accusations about a human-trafficking public company and the use of a chart linking Victoria’s to The Lord [massage parlour] and then to the name of the firm,” the source said.
Police have inspected The Lord massage parlour after receiving a tip-off that it was related to Victoria’s.
According to the source, the Channel 3 story could have misled the public into believing that the firm had engaged in illegal offences despite the fact that it had operated normal businesses. 
“The firm will demand Bt333 million compensation plus a public apology,” the source added. “The firm’s image and reputation, after all, are affected.” 
According to the source, Kampol had had no executive power in the firm even though he was its biggest shareholder. 
Regarding claims that a superintendent attached to the Metropolitan Police Bureau benefited from free services at Victoria’s, all superintendents under suspicion were required to report to their agencies to accept or deny the claim. 
Several superintendents have missed the deadline, which was last Thursday. 
The free services by Victoria’s are believed to be a factor in why this massage parlour had for years been able to flout the law in the heart of Bangkok’s Huai Khwang district. The extent of its wrongdoing was finally exposed earlier this month. 

Published : January 28, 2018

By : The Nation