Bangkok – The attorney to self-exiled ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra’s son, Panthongtae Shinawatra, has requested that the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) freeze its action against his client who is charged with money laundering, while giving an assurance that if a summons is issued he will appear before authorities.
The attorney, Chumsai Sriyapai, handed a written request to the DSI this week asking it to cease its pursuit of charges against Panthongae after the Assets Scrutiny Committee concluded he had received stolen goods.
The case stems from an earlier case of corruption involving Krung Thai Bank and its loan to the Krisada Mahanakorn Group. That case resulted in Panthongtae being called in for questioning. His attorney asserted however that there was no connection between the son of former Prime Minister Thaksin and the other parties in the matter. As for a cheque he received from Mooban Krisada Mahanakorn project owner Wichai Krisadathanon for 10 million baht, his lawyer contended that he could not have known the funds were ill-gotten and that he himself had no intention of concealing the assets.
On DSI investigators calling Panthongtae in for questioning however, Chumsai assured the authorities that his client would appear to protest his innocence but that no summons had yet been issued.
Deputy Spokesman for the DSI, Pol Maj Woranant Srilam accepted Chumsai’s arguments for further consideration but said it will be up to investigators whether or not they freeze activity. Responding to a request for the case to be transferred from the DSI to the Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO), Pol Maj Woranant explained that the office is only empowered to take civil action and is thus under-qualified for this matter.