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Actress ‘Pinky’ questioned by police, cleared in B1.5bn embezzlement case

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Actress ‘Pinky’ questioned by police, cleared in B1.5bn embezzlement case
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Actress Savika “Pinky” Chaiyadej yesterday told police that she didn’t know Kittisak Mattujad, who is believed to be a key person in the Bt1.5-billion embezzlement from the King Mongkut Institute of Technology Lat Krabang (KMITL).

She also said she had no knowledge that her name had been used a shareholder at Kittisak’s company.

Meanwhile police were gathering evidence to back their application for arrest warrants for four more suspects, acting Crime Suppression Division (CSD) chief Pol Col Akkaradet Pimonsri said.

Accompanied by her husband Itthi Chavalittamrong, a real-estate executive, Savika went to see police at 4pm and immediately provided her testimony.

She later told reporters that she didn’t know Kittisak and was not aware that she was named as a 30-per-cent shareholder in one of his seven companies.

Saying she was astonished by the news, Savika added that she had come forward to express her innocence and sincerity to the police.

Police spokesman Pol Lt Gen Prawut Thavornsiri said Savika told them that a man named Krukrit or Phudit Chanthima, whom she knew from the set of a drama shoot, had invited her to join in an investment in an entertainment business but she had not agreed to it yet.

However, she found that her name was used without her knowledge, he said. A police probe found that the company was registered but no money had moved.

Gen Prawut said Savika was not a suspect and would not be summoned for more testimony.

Col Akkaradet also commented about two female suspects – Sombat Sopradit and her daughter Janjira Sopradit – who were arrested on Tuesday in Bangkok’s Lak Si district. He said the two women would be detained at Min Buri Court and police would object to their release on bail on the grounds that the damages in this case were high.

After their arrest, the two women were presented at a press conference along with five seized bank accounts, two land title deeds, 100,000 baht cash, and other valuables.

CSD deputy chief Pol Col Kornchai Klaikleung said an investigation found that Janjira’s bank account had received a total of 40 million baht from the KMITL account between 2012 and last year and that she had allegedly wired 6mn baht to her mother’s bank account.

Admitting she had known Kittisak since university, Janjira insisted the money in her bank accounts was for online soccer betting, as she was a bookie compiling money to pay gambling groups and gambling websites.

In related news, acting KMITL rector Monai Krairish yesterday told a meeting of 200 university staff and students that the missing reserve money would not affect the institute’s administration and management.

Acting deputy rector Chamroon Laosinwattana said the university would have experts examine all financial books. He said the university also would have a trusted outside agency serve as a custodian for its money transactions.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

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