11 July 2024

Thailand’s Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases sentenced former top executive of the Krisda Mahanakorn real estate company, Wichai Krisdathanon, his son Ratchada and four other people to 20 years in prison today (Friday), after finding them guilty of money laundering in connection with the 9.9-billion-baht loan from the state-owned Krungthai Bank.

The case dates back to 2003, when the Krungthai Bank granted a loan to subsidiaries of Krisda Mahanakorn for refinancing and land acquisition for real estate development.

The money was, however, used for share trading on the stock market and was laundered to conceal its source, according to the public prosecutors.

The court initially found the six defendants guilty of multiple counts of money laundering and sentenced each of them to prison terms, ranging from 118 years to 860 years.

Since the law states, however, that a combined prison term cannot exceed 20 years, their terms were commuted to the legal maximum.

The court also ordered all of them to compensate Krungthai Bank to the tune of about 8.8 billion baht within 30 days.

In 2015, former executive board chairman of the bank, Suchai Jaovisidha, former bank president Viroj Nuankae and over a dozen defendants were sentenced to prison terms by the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders in connection with the loan scandal.

Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was also charged, but he has been living in exile. A warrant for his arrest was issued by the court. He was later tried in absentia, but was found not guilty by the same court in 2019.