Saturday, March 3, 2007

Somkid and Sondhi's Buddy Viroj May Be Charged For Bank Loan Scams


The Nation

Bank executives may be among charged

Twenty to face Assets Examination Committee over funds that are said to have found their way into powerful pockets

Two former Krung Thai Bank executives will be among more than 20 people likely to be charged by the Assets Examination Committee (AEC) in a corruption case involving Bt9.9-billion bank loans, some of which were allegedly diverted to benefit former politicians in power, an AEC source said yesterday.

The source said they include former bank president Viroj Nualkhair and former bank chairman Suchai Jaovisidha.

Meanwhile, AEC chairman Nam Yimyaem said the AEC will meet to consider the case on Tuesday, when it is expected to set up a subcommittee to examine the facts before charging any wrongdoers.

On Tuesday, the AEC will also discuss whether to set up a separate subcommittee to investigate alleged irregularities involving the previous government's two- and three-digit lotteries, according to Nam.

The fact-finding team looking into the matter has suggested further probe as many people were found to have been involved, he said.

Last October, the Bank of Thailand found that Golden Technology Industrial Park Ltd, linked to Krisda Mahanakorn, had issued two cheques worth more than Bt130 million combined and made payable to two people associated with "a big political party".

Golden Technology is one of the non-performing borrowers of the state-run Krung Thai Bank (KTB). The company is partly blamed for the high level of KTB's non-performing-loans worth around Bt40 billion during the tenure of Viroj.

Golden Technology sought Bt9.9 billion from Krung Thai Bank by using a 4,000-rai plot of land close to the Suvarnabhumi area as collateral, saying it needed the money to refinance debts of Bt8 billion with Bangkok Bank, and the other Bt1.9 billion to acquire land.

However, the Bank of Thailand later found the company had used only Bt4.45 billion to refinance the debt with Bangkok Bank - the other Bt3.5 billion had been misused.

The scandal broke about two years ago, when banking authorities discovered that KTB had misallocated loans worth a combined Bt40 billion. It was forced to set aside loan-loss reserves to cover the high level of non-performing loans.

Viroj was later forced out as KTB president.

Sondhi's barber may be going to jail

1 comment:

anon said...

I really really doubt it. It was the firing of Viroj that turned Sondhi from Thaksin's butt-buddy number one into the yellow-wearing demagogue we know and love today. Any attempt to go after Viroj will just turn Sondhi against the junta. I don't think even Surayud is naive enough to do that....