Appeals Court upholds 20-year jail term for ex-banker

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BANGKOK, May 24 – Thailand’s Appeals Court on Tuesday upheld a verdict against Krirkkiat Jalichandra, former president of the defunct Bangkok Bank of Commerce, jailing him for 20 years on embezzlement charges.

The court ruled that the pair violated the Securities and Exchange Act, and upheld a jail term of 20 years for Mr Krirkkiat and a jail term of 13 years and four months for the second defendant, Pornchan Chankajorn.

However, the court changed the lower court’s ruling on damage fees and ordered Mr Krirkkiat to pay Bt128 million (US$4.2 million) and the two defendants to pay Bt120 million ($4 million).

The Criminal Court sentenced Mr Krirkkiat to 20 years jail and fined him Bt211 million  ($7 million) and handed Ms Pornchan 13 years and 4 months jail and fined her Bt1.3 million (some $45,000).

In 1995, then BBC treasury adviser Rakesh Saxena allegedly colluded with Krirkkiat Jalichandra, then bank president and was involved in setting up dummy loans and fabricated accounts to siphon millions from the bank, causing its collapse under US$3 billion in debts, along with 50 other financial institutions, leading directly to the 1997 financial crisis.