Ex-real estate director sentenced to 20 years in prison in bank loan scandal

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

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

The money, however, was used for stock trading and was laundered to conceal its provenance, prosecutors say.

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.

However, as the law stipulates that a cumulative prison sentence cannot exceed 20 years, their sentences were commuted to the legal maximum.

The court also ordered each of them to compensate Krungthai Bank in the amount of approximately 8.8 billion baht within 30 days.

In 2015, former bank chairman Suchai Jaovisidha, former bank chairman Viroj Nuankae and more than a dozen defendants were sentenced to prison terms by the Criminal Division of the Supreme Court for political office holders in connection with the loans scandal.

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

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