Fallout from the Srirasmi divorce

7 03 2020

Long-time readers may recall the lese majeste case against Nopporn Suppipat, in 2014, one of Thailand’s wealthiest men, who made money on alternative energy.

He was then caught up in the purge of persons associated with then Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn’s estranged wife Srirasmi and her relatives in early December 2014.

His arrest warrant alleged he hired two persons connected to former Central Investigation Bureau chief Pongpat Chayapan, the princess’s uncle.

Nopporn was accused of defaming the monarchy by using royal influence to hire others to physically assault and threaten.

Nopporn fled the country for Cambodia and then France, declaring his innocence and saying he has no intention of returning to Thailand as he would be unable to get a fair hearing in the then junta-led nation.

He denied any connection to the princess’s relatives, stating that he was involved in a lengthy court dispute and enlisted the help of a senior army officer to help “negotiate” a final settlement. Nopporn said it was that officer who hired Srirasmi’s associates/relatives. He also argued that he was targeted because the police believed he was close to Thaksin Shinawatra.

Seemingly out of the blue, Nopporn is back in the news. A reader sent us a story where it is reported that he “has sued members of a family-run business conglomerate in London’s High Court over the $700 million sale of the business, claiming they conspired to take control of the company.”

Nopporn’s suit accuses “members, companies and allies of Thailand’s Narongdej family of conspiring to deprive him of any interest in the [W]ind [C]ompany [Wind Energy Holding Co. Ltd.].”

His suit accuses “Nop Narongdej, the scion of the KPN Group business conglomerate, of reneging on the plans and secretly conspiring with members of his family to keep the [company’s] shares” despite a deal done that would have allowed Nopporn to hold the shares outside Thailand.

Nopporn “claims he’s only been paid $90 million for his 59% stake in WEH, less than a tenth of what the shares were worth,” and a further $85.75 million since. He says that the “International Chamber of Commerce held that Narongdej’s companies owed $700 million under the share sale agreement.”

It is claimed that the “stake in WEH was eventually sold to Kasem Narongdej, Nop’s father, at a major discount…”. As a result, the suit involved Nop, Kasem and “15 other defendants, including the family’s companies, WEH employees, Narongdej’s lawyer, Siam Commercial Bank [major shareholder: the king], and individual banking employees.”

All “[e}xcept for Kasem Narongdej, … have agreed to the U.K. court jurisdiction over the case, according to court records.”

In Thailand and Hong Kong, the shenanigans have caused considerable reporting. Some of it:


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