Anant reports to answer KCUC charges
Property tycoon Anant Asavabhokin, founder of the Land and Houses Group, reported to the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) yesterday to answer charges in connection with the Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative (KCUC) embezzlement case.
After almost three hours of questioning, Mr Anant told waiting reporters that he came to show good intent, but had requested a 60-day delay to prepare documents relating to the case. He explained he had returned from abroad only two days ago.
Kachornsak Phutthanuphap, executive director of investigation at the Office of the Attorney-General, was also at the DSI to inform Mr Anant of two charges against him relating to money laundering.
The businessman met the DSI two days before the June 7 summons to answer charges of collaboration in money laundering and conspiracy to commit an offence.
Mr Anant denied both charges and requested 60 days to prepare his explanation of the land deals involved.
Mr Kachornsak said that investigators had obtained sufficient evidence before pressing charges against Mr Anant.
Mr Anant will be called in for further questioning if additional issues relating to the case emerge, Mr Kachornsak said.
The DSI summoned Mr Anant to appear before investigators on suspicion he laundered money through a land purchase, in which the land would be donated to Wat Phra Dhammakaya in Pathum Thani’s Klong Luang district. Instead, it ended up under his ownership.
Former KCUC chairman Supachai Srisupa-aksorn used money drawn from KCUC to buy 46 rai owned by M-Home SPV 2 Co close to Wat Phra Dhammakaya.
Supachai is currently in prison after being sentenced by the Criminal Court in March last year to 16 years in jail after admitting to siphoning money from KCUC accounts in 2013.
The 46 rai was sold on Dec 23, 2011 to Mr Anant for 93.7 million baht, well below the estimated value of 281 million baht, the DSI’s initial investigation concluded.
The deal caused damage to KCUC, and officials also found that no payment was actually made.
Mr Anant later sold the land for 492 million baht and allegedly donated 303 million baht of the money to the Chan Khonnokyoong Foundation, overseen by the founder and former abbot of Wat Dhammakaya, Phra Dhammajayo.
Mr Anant said he did not know Supachai personally, although he met many people at the temple.
His lawyer would be providing information about the case, as he did not know all the details, Mr Anant said.
He said that foreigners were still interested in investing in his companies, even though he faced a legal investigation.
Mr Anant’s lawyer Kamol Srisawat declined to give more information, saying more detail would be given to the media after 60 days.