NSB gears up to seek arrest warrant for ‘Patt’
Actress fails to show for drug link summons
The Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) is ready to seek an arrest warrant for actress Napapa “Patt” Tantrakul on suspicion of laundering money for a drug cartel if she fails to acknowledge charges against her for a second time.
NSB chief, Pol Lt Gen Sommai Kongwisaisuk, yesterday said a warrant will be sought for the arrest of the actress, 30, if she fails to answer money-laundering charges by Monday.
He was speaking after Napapa, the wife of Akarakit Worarojcharoendet, who is a suspect in alleged Lao drug cartel leader Xaysana Keopimpha’s ring, failed to acknowledge charges yesterday.
Earlier, Napapa also failed to declare 1.9 million baht which had been wired to her bank account by her 30-year-old husband who is also known as “Benz Racing”.
According to police, the money was transferred to her account by Mr Akarakit who received it from Natthaphol “Boy” Nakkham, who is another suspect in the Xaysana drug case.
NSB i nvestigators later sought an arrest warrant for Napapa from the Criminal Court on Tuesday. However, the court ordered police to summon her instead as it deemed that she did not pose a flight risk.
Even though she has handed over all the money to the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), police believe she committed a crime.
Meanwhile, Akhom Kongsawat, a lawyer for the actress, yesterday insisted that no arrest warrant had been issued for his client.
Mr Akhom said Napapa failed to report to police yesterday because she does not live at Area 51, her husband’s shop selling auto accessories for big bikes in the capital’s Din Daeng district, where the first summons was sent.
The lawyer contacted police to postpone the date and it was agreed that Napapa should meet them on Monday instead.
Napapa said she was very confused about what was happening at the moment and would ask her lawyer to help guide her in the case.
Last week, Mr Akarakit was again released on bail of 500,000 baht by the Criminal Court when police applied to extend his detention in connection with alleged money laundering for the Lao drug cartel.
The court formally approved the police request and allowed continuation of bail on condition Mr Akarakit does not leave the country without seeking permission.
The court ordered Mr Akarakit to appear again on Wednesday. A source said investigators at the NSB have still not sent their final report to public prosecutors.
Mr Akarakit is facing charges after police decided he was unable to properly explain his acquisition of luxury vehicles including a Lamborghini Gallardo, a KTM 1290 Super Duke motorbike and a BMW motorcycle.
Police said income from his bike accessories shop was not enough for him to afford the 20-million-baht Lamborghini, which they believed was acquired with money from the alleged Lao drug cartel leader’s network.
Investigators also found 300,000 baht had been transferred to his account each month by Mr Natthaphol.
Last month, the ONCB also widened its investigation into an international drug syndicate, arresting a Taiwanese, a Malaysian and two Thai women for alleged involvement in transnational drug trafficking connected with the suspected Lao narcotics kingpin.