Nopporn Suppipat

NoppornNopporn Suppipat is one of Thailand’s wealthiest men. Police have accused him of lese majeste after he was named in a family-based purge of persons associated with Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn’s estranged wife Srirasmi and her relatives in early December 2014.

The Bangkok Military Court issued an arrest warrant for Nopporn on 2 December for allegedly hiring two criminal suspects connected to former Central Investigation Bureau chief Pongpat Chayapan, the princess’s uncle. Nopporn is accused of defaming the monarchy by using royal influence to hire others to physically assault and threaten.

Forbes lists Nopporn as a rich lister, worth US$800 million. His rise has been startling after several unsuccessful enterprises in the past. He is boss of Wind Energy Holding Co.

Nopporn fled the country and declared his innocence.

He apparently fled to Cambodia on 30 November 2014 after he found that he would be charged under the lese majeste law. He says: “I knew ‘112’ would mean I wouldn’t get bail… I couldn’t take that risk…”.

Nopporn denies any connection to the princess’s relatives. He says he was engaged in a lengthy court dispute over money with the businessman, eventually enlisting the help of a senior army officer to help negotiate a final settlement. Nopporn said the officer hired the Akkharapongprichas without his knowledge.

The tycoon also explained that he believed he was being targeted because he was perceived as being close to former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, which he denies. He says the “police believed I was close to Thaksin, and with that I knew I had to run…”.

Nopporn said he has no intention of returning to Thailand any time soon because he would be unable to get a fair hearing in the junta-led nation.

At least eight persons have now been accused of lese majeste in this and other cases related to Prince Vajiralongkorn’s purge.

In 2017, Nopporn was interview in Paris, where he states he has refugee status, says he will not return to Thailand and maintains his innocence. Now that the prince is king, there’s no chance that he can return.

Media accounts of Nopporn’s case:

For a range of media stories, see Pongpat Chayapan’s page.

Business Insider, 18 June 2017: “This refugee entrepreneur had to sell his business after fleeing the Thai military and he’s now investing in French tech

Khaosod, 20 March 2015: “Brothers of Ex-Princess Imprisoned for Defaming Royal Family

Reuters, 16 December 2014: “Thailand’s Wind Energy appoints new CEO after graft scandal

Bangkok Post, 8 December 2014: “Police back probe as mogul hits out”

Channel News Asia, 7 December 2014: “Fugitive Thai millionaire protests his innocence

Bangkok Post, 5 December 2014: “Police: Nopporn fleeing to Canada

The Nation, 5 December 2014: “Police met Nopporn to investigate complaint before he fled

Bangkok Post, 4 December 2014: “Warrants out for 2 more Pongpat suspects

Bangkok Post, 2 December 2014: “Warrant out for 31st richest man

One response

28 12 2014
The prince’s lese majeste cases | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] far, PPT has listed cases against Chakarn Phakphoom, Nopporn Suppipat, Nuttapong Suwadee (former Princess Srirasmi’s brother) and Sudathip Muangnual. This does not […]