Updated: Discounted “acquisition”

30 06 2021

An odd looking report suddenly appeared at the old Khaosod English website. It relates to a post earlier this month on hi-so corruption.

The new report states:

The Singapore Court of Appeal has rendered a final and binding decision absolving Nop Narongdej of an obligation to make a bonus payment of 525 million USD for the purchase of shares in Wind Energy Holding Group from “Nick Suppipat” or Mr. Nopporn ‘Nick’ Suppipat’s companies on the ground that the Arbitration Tribunal’s decision was made in excess of jurisdiction. Nop Narongdej praises the court for upholding justice….

In its ruling, the court says the Arbitration Tribunal has no authority to deliberate on the matter of bonus payment and therefore its decision on the remaining amounts has no legal effect….

On his part, Mr. Nop praises the Singapore court for upholding justice in its decision to clear his name and resolving the dispute between himself and the previous shareholder of WEH, which had posed an obstacle to previous efforts to list the company in the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

We wonder how that impacts the earlier decisions that went against Nop in Hong Kong and Thailand? We guess Nop doesn’t care as the Singapore court has handed him half a billion dollars discount on the “acquisition” of WEH. PPT will seek to update this post tomorrow.

Update: PPT has been unable to confirm the information beyond seeing the same report as above in several newspapers, citing Nop’s lawyers. We have, so far, been unable to locate the ruling at the Singapore Appeal Court.





Wind powers hi-so corruption

11 06 2021

In an oddly presented report at the Bangkok Post it is reported that the Attorney General “has ordered the prosecution of Khunying Korkaew Boonyachinda and associates for forgery and allegedly using forged documents for the transfer of shares of Wind Energy Holding (WEH).” A similar story appeared at Khaosod and promptly disappeared.

Korkaew

Korkaew. From Bangkok Post

This caught our attention as the case is related to a 2014 lese majeste case against Nopporn Suppipat. At the time, he was one of Thailand’s wealthiest men, investing in alternative energy.

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

His lese majeste arrest warrant alleged he hired two persons connected to former Central Investigation Bureau chief Pongpat Chayapan, the princess’s uncle. Nopporn was accused of using royal influence to hire others – Srirasmi’s associates/relatives – to physically assault and threaten.

He denied any connection to the princess’s relatives and fled the country.

In an on-again/off-again legal case that has traversed Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore and the UK, in 2020 it is reported that Nopporn had “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

Nopporn in 2014

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 accused “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. It was said 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.”

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

The new report states that:

on June 4, 2021, the Attorney General issued a definitive court order against Khunying Korkaew Boonyachinda and associates to the Southern Bangkok Criminal Court on charges of the forgery of Mr. Kasem Narongdej’s signatures in several documents and allegedly using these forged documents for the transfer of WEH shares to Khunying Korkaew Boonyachinda.

The prosecution order issued by the Attorney General corresponds to the results of signature verification from both the Central Police Forensic Science Division, Royal Thai Police and the Institute of Forensic Science, Ministry of Justice. Both results clearly indicate that Mr. Kasem’s signatures on all documents used by Khunying Korkaew Boonyachinda for the transfer of WEH shares (Mr. Kasem as transferor and Khunying Korkaew as transferee) are forged.

Korkaew is Nop’s mother-in-law and she’s always been a hi-so figure. The case unveils some of the corruption that marks this class.





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:





Rich refugee from military-monarchy gang

19 06 2017

The very wealthy Nopporn Suppipat was accused of lese majeste after he was named in a family-based purge of persons associated with then 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 2014  allegedly he hiried two criminal suspects connected to former Central Investigation Bureau chief Pongpat Chayapan, the then 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 denied 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 Srirasmi’s brothers, 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-strangled nation. He denies all of the charges.

All of this is background for a story in the Business Insider on Nopporn’s exile in France. He has now lived in Paris for two years “as a political refugee, and has dabbled in France’s burgeoning tech scene. He is the lead investor in Blade, a Paris-based cloud computing firm which has just raised €51 million (£45 million)…”.

He said he doesn’t plan to return to Thailand and has sold his company there:

Suppipat, for legal reasons, can’t comment on where his money is. Having fled Thailand, he was forced to sell WEH in 2016 in what he describes as a bad deal to another prominent Thai businessman, Nop Narongdej. “He shafted me….

No one is safe in Thailand under the military-monarchy gang.





Divorce destruction continues

22 03 2015

Reuters reports that a military court has “jailed three brothers of a former princess for 5-1/2 years, in the latest court decision giving prison time to family members after her dramatic fall from grace last year.”

We understand the confusion on these cases as they are piled very high. In fact, Nuttapong (as we have named him based on previous reports, but now listed as Natthapol) and Narong Suwadee are brothers and Sitthisak Suwadee is a nephew of Srirasmi.

The report claims that “Srirasmi Suwadee, formerly known as Princess Srirasmi, is divorced from Crown Prince … Vajiralongkorn, and relinquished her royal title last December.”

As far as we are aware, no divorce has been announced. Rather, acts of personal and family destruction have been underway.

Reuters notes that the three were given 11 years in prison each, reduced to 5.5 years because they confessed to the “crimes of theft, insult to the monarchy and illegal detention…”. It is not immediately clear what their sentence was on the lese majeste charges, but it matters little to the outcome.

Khaosod reports that the prosecutor alleged that Natthapol, Narong and Sitthisak “were hired by a businessman named Nopporn Supphapipat [Suppipat] to coerce a money lender into reducing Nopporn’s debt from 120 million baht to 20 million baht.” It was further alleged that “the three men abducted Nopporn’s money lender, Witthaya Panyathaweekool, in front of his house in Bangkok on 20 March 2014. The trio allegedly detained him overnight and forced him to reduce Nopporn’s debt, citing their connection to then-Princess Srirasmi.”

At the time of the alleged offenses, Natthapol and Narong “were serving in the Crown Prince’s personal bodyguard unit…”.

The three were arrested in November 2014.

Reuters states that a “purge of some of Srirasmi’s relatives began last year after the sudden dismissal of her uncle [Pongpat Chayapan], one of Thailand’s most senior police officers.” Since then dozens of her family and associates have been jailed.

The report then states: “As the arrests reached fever pitch Thailand’s Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn asked the government to strip his wife’s family of their royally-bestowed name.” We think this is a slippery way of reporting a chicken and egg story. The report implies that the prince ditched Srirasmi after her relatives were found to be up to no good. It is well known that Vajiralongkorn had a new wife on the side and that she was the favorite. Ditching Srirasmi with a huge story about crime seems convenient.

The closeness of all of this to the prince’s household raises many questions that no one in Thailand is permitted to ask.





Updated: The prince’s lese majeste cases

28 12 2014

The number of lese majeste cases associated with Prince Vajiralongkorn’s purge of his third wife and her family have piled up.

So far, PPT has listed cases against Chakarn Phakphoom, Nopporn Suppipat, Nuttapong Suwadee (former Princess Srirasmi’s brother) and Sudathip Muangnual. This does not include Chainarin Nopchaloemroj and 13 others who seem involved in a related purge.

Following a report in the Bangkok Post, we are listing six more.

The first is former Central Investigation Bureau chief Pongpat Chayapan. There’s been plenty of media attention to Pongpat, who is former Princess Srirasmi’s uncle.

The other five “suspects,” accused of lese majeste and sundry other crimes are Pongpat’s deputy Pol Maj Gen Kowit Wongrungroj,former chief of the Marine Police Division Pol Maj Gen Boonsueb Phraithuean, former chief of the Anti-Human Trafficking Sub-Division 4 Pol Col Wuthichat Liansukhon, Pol Snr Sgt Maj Surasak Channgao and Pol Snr Sgt Maj Chattrin Laothong.

So far it seems that 24 persons have been ousted in what looks like a succession purge.

Update: PPT has completed a listing of English-language news reports on these cases. Most are listed at Pongpat’s page. If we have missed anything important, let us know by email.





Lese majeste, Thaksin and palace intrigue

9 12 2014

Readers will recall that about a week ago the Bangkok Military Court issued an arrest warrant for Nopporn Suppipat, one of Thailand’s 50 wealthiest people in the scandal that engulfed the Crown Prince’s wife’s family.

Forbes lists Nopporn as a rich lister, worth US$800 million. He is/was boss of Wind Energy Holding Co., and was reportedly wanted on charges of defaming the monarchy by using royal influence to hire others to physically assault and threaten others.

At Channel News Asia it is reported that Nopporn “broke cover to protest his innocence Sunday (Dec 7) in a graft probe that has seen relatives of the crown prince’s wife arrested.”

Nopporn reportedly “denied police accusations that he helped orchestrate the kidnapping of a man who owed him money…”.

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

The report states that “the investigation has also seen the palace fall under a rare spotlight at a time of deep uncertainty.”

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

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





Prince’s purge widens

2 12 2014

The family-based purge of persons associated with Prince Vajiralongkorn’s estranged wife continues to widen.

The Bangkok Post reports that the “Bangkok Military Court has Tuesday issued an arrest warrant for Nopporn Suppipat, one of Thailand’s 50 wealthiest people this year, for allegedly hiring two criminal suspects connected to former Central Investigation Bureau chief Pongpat Chayapan to ‘negotiate’ down his debts.”

Forbes lists Nopporn as an early 40s new 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., and is “wanted on charges of defaming the monarchy by using royal influence to hire others to physically assault and threaten others…”.

He “allegedly hired Natthanan Thanawech and Chalach Phothirach to kidnap a businessman he owned money to.” The businessman is reportedly Bandit Chotwitthayakul, said to be owed 120 million baht.

Interesting to speculate why someone said to be worth 2.4 billion would engage in wheeling and dealing over a debt of 120 million baht.

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