Thai SEC seizes Stark Corporation’s assets amidst false accounting claims

Image courtesy of Bangkok Post

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Thailand seized the assets of Stark Corporation and some of its key personnel due to accusations of false accounting. Excessive damages have ensued following this misconduct with Stark’s debts rising above 38 billion baht as believed by the regulators.

The SEC has also frozen the assets of Vonnarat Tangkaravakoon, formerly the acting chief executive officer and Stark’s largest shareholder, for 180 days. In addition to this, the assets of former executives, including ex-chairman Chanin Yensudchai, Kundan Sathar Chantrasettalead, Chinawat Assavapokee and Kittisak Jitprasertngam, have been reportedly frozen along with those associated with Stark’s associated companies. These range from Thai Cable International, Phelps Dodge International (Thailand), and Adisorn Songkhla Co, to Asia Pacific Drilling Engineering.

Charges filed by the SEC at the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) against the aforementioned parties, purport they were complicit or in agreement to falsify the financial statements of Stark and its associates during 2021 and 2022 with an intention to deceive.

“Reasonable circumstances” have been identified in the freeze order, suggesting a potential threat from the individuals to transfer or sell the assets. Moreover, the SEC announcement also revealed plans to obtain a court injunction restricting the convicts from overseas travel for the next fortnight.

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On a corporate level, the company has been hit hard by resignations. Vonnarat Tangkaravakoon put down his roles inclusive of acting CEO and director amidst this turmoil. SEC has also named four others who exited their roles in April with a new chief executive’s appointment pending. At present, Apichart Tangeakchit has been put in charge of the company until further notice.

In the briefing led by Thawatchai Pittayasophon, the SEC acting secretary-general, on Friday, he clarified that an investigative process is ongoing in collaboration with DSI targeting other possible discrepancies at Stark and vowing to take those responsible for the fraud to task.

Thawatchai said…

“The SEC will continue to investigate other suspicious cases related to the company. The investigation is also looking into possible misconduct by the auditor as well as stock price manipulation. Once we gather enough evidence, more charges will be filed against those involved.”

According to the SEC, assets can be seized for a period of up to 180 days, and the travel ban imposed on executives can be extended. The SEC aims to bring the case to court with the evidence collected, despite Stark continuing its operations as usual, reported Bangkok Post.

Touching on the subject of rising investor confidence, Chavinda Hanratanakool, the chairwoman of the Association of Investment Management Companies, conveyed how important this crack-down on Stark was. Companies are facing major hurdles to garnish new funds via debt securities issuance. Hanratanakool said…

“Without a speedy restoration of confidence, companies will find it hard to raise funds for debt refinancing and business operations, which could hurt the economy.”

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Alex Morgan

Alex is a 42-year-old former corporate executive and business consultant with a degree in business administration. Boasting over 15 years of experience working in various industries, including technology, finance, and marketing, Alex has acquired in-depth knowledge about business strategies, management principles, and market trends. In recent years, Alex has transitioned into writing business articles and providing expert commentary on business-related issues. Fluent in English and proficient in data analysis, Alex strives to deliver well-researched and insightful content to readers, combining practical experience with a keen analytical eye to offer valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape.

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