65 executives summoned as DSI investigates bid-rigging ties to construction tycoon ‘Nok’

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post.

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has summoned executives from 65 companies following concerns over their potential involvement in bid-rigging with construction businesses owned by Praween Chanklai, also known as Nok. Nok was recently arrested in the Muang district of Nakhon Pathom, following the murder of Police Major Sivakorn Saibua, an officer of Highway Police Division 2.

Nok’s close aide, Thananchai, known as Nong Tha Pha Manmak, was identified as the gunman. However, Nok has denied any involvement, refuting claims that he ordered his subordinate to kill Pol. Maj. Sivakorn.

Nok’s construction business, initially started by his father, a former headman of Tambon Takong, includes the P Raweekanok Construction Company and the P Phatanarungrod Construction Company. These companies have been successful in securing road, building, and bridge construction projects as well as offering canal dredging and rental services in Nakhon Pathom and several neighbouring provinces.

Police Captain Surawut Rangsai, director of the DSI’s Division for Offences Relating to the Submission of Bids to Government Agencies, revealed that these companies may have violated regulations on bid submissions for government agency projects. Financial analysts’ investigation has brought to light abnormal account balances in Nok’s companies when compared to the annual statements submitted to the Department of Business Development.

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The companies have won bids on over 1,300 government projects since 2015, valued at over 70 billion baht. This is in stark contrast to the companies’ assets, reportedly worth 100–200 million baht. The DSI division has also issued warrants to 65 companies that bid on highway projects in 2017 for questioning the following Monday.

In addition, investigations have unearthed a potential financial transaction between Nok and the gunman, after several police at the party where the police officer was murdered were discovered to have made or received unusually large transfers, raising suspicions of payment for the shooting.

Meanwhile in Nakhon Pathom, a police funeral service took place yesterday for the victim of Nok’s plot at the Wat Phra Si Mahathat temple in Bangkok’s Bang Khen district. It marked the solemn farewell of Pol. Maj. Siwakorn Saibua for his family and close friends. The fallen highway police officer was tragically gunned down after declining a corrupt promotion proposal from Nok.

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Atima Homtientong

Atima is a dedicated news writer living in Bangkok. With a degree from Mahidol University, she focuses on reporting key issues and happenings around the country. In her off time, Atima enjoys writing and producing music.

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