11 July 2024

The Chon Buri provincial court on Friday night issued a warrant for the arrest of the organizer of the controversial Charity Chon Buri marathon for alleged public fraud charge after it was suspected that he was trying to escape.

Police at Samet police station sought court’s warrants for the arrest of Thongchai Jiaranai, the organizer, and Kittipat Chonsaranont, the organizing manager, for alleged fraud in connection with proceeds from the marathon event held on October 14.

Chon Buri deputy governor Sattawat Anantakul on Friday night went to Samat police station to examine the police charge sheets concerning the marathon run and also a charity concert organized by the two suspects.

Later on, the police went to the provincial court with the charge sheets to seek warrants for the arrest of the two men, but the ccurt issued arrest warrant only for Thongchai because he was suspected of trying to escape.

Earlier on Friday, Mrs Charoek Sukplod, former treasurer of the Suan Luang IX Chon Buri walking-running club, told the media that the actual proceeds from the marathon event were 8.2 million baht, not 6.8 million baht as claimed by Kittipat.

She disclosed that the event organizer, Mr Thongchai Jiaranai, and his wife approached her with a request for her to open a bank account under her name so proceeds from the marathon could be transferred to the account because the club itself could not open a bank account as it was not yet registered as a legal entity.

She said she agreed to do as requested because she thought it was a charity event and there should not be any problem.  After the completion of the paperwork, she said Thongchai kept the bank book as well as the ATM card.

Mrs Charoek said she was totally in the dark about the deposits and withdrawals in the bank account until  she started to become suspicious and decided to pull out from involvement in the event and then filed a report with the police as evidence to prove that she was not involved with the marathon.

After the October 14 marathon event was over and, eventually, a conflict over the amount of proceeds to be donated to Burapha University hospital, she said she went to the bank to ask for a bank statement which showed the total amount of deposits, 8.2 million baht not 6.8 million baht as claimed by Thongchai.

She claimed that she handed over the bank statement to a “phuyai” in Chon Buri province for safe keeping.

The organizing manager of the event, Kittipat, told a press conference on Thursday that only about 500,000 baht in net profit was left to be donated to the hospital after the expenses totaling about 6 million baht were deducted from the proceeds of 6.8 million baht.

He, however, did not give full details about the expenses to the media or any evidence to back up his claim.