Thai-speed justice: Supreme Court ‘fuels up’ for Benz Racing’s triumphant legal lap

Photo via Matichon.

The Supreme Court of Thailand dismissed a drug trafficking and money laundering case involving Thai celebrity and motorcycle racer, Akkarakit “Benz” Worrarojjaroendate, also known as Benz Racing. He vehemently denied all allegations and has spent the past four years in jail trying to clear his name.

Benz was implicated in facilitating the drug trade and engaging in laundering money activities on behalf of a drug cartel. The charges were initially filed on January 19, 2017, following the apprehension of the drug gang’s leader, Saisana Kaewpimpa.

This operation subsequently led to the arrest of Nattapon “Boy” Narkkham, who disclosed that he had shifted the proceeds from drug sales to Benz.

Officers then conducted further investigations into Benz and his garage businesses. Benz admitted to the officers that he was a friend of Boy’s because they both liked motorcycle racing. Benz also confessed to borrowing 6 million baht from Boy to buy a Lamborghini sports car but insisted that he knew nothing of Boy’s illegal business.

Officers also discovered suspicious financial transactions in Benz’s bank accounts. There was more than 100 million baht in circulation and Benz was unable to provide the exact source of the money, leading to accusations of money laundering.

Benz denied all charges and tried to clear his name. Benz and other suspects were later sentenced to 36 years and eight months in prison and fined 3.3 million baht each. Benz continued to deny the charges and fought for his freedom while in prison.

Family reunion

The Supreme Court of Thailand yesterday dismissed the drug charges against Benz, saying there was insufficient evidence. Benz, however, still faced a three years and four months prison sentence for money laundering.

But Benz has been in jail for more than four years so there is no need to serve any more time and the court has released him. He was released from Khlong Prem Prison in Bangkok last night, October 24. Benz gave an interview to the media.

“I have denied the charges from the beginning and the court has just decided today that I am not guilty. I lost everything in my life during my time in prison. I felt that all my loved ones had to live in pity. But I have hope that I will fight until I return home. It is as if I have just woken up from a dream as if I have a new life. When I was in prison, my family was also in prison. They suffered as much as I did.”

Benz was reunited with his family last night, along with his ex-wife, actress Napapa “Pat” Tantrakun, and their six year old son, Racing.

Benz revealed to the media that he had asked Pat not to bring Racing to visit him in prison because he did not want his son to see him in a wretched condition. This is the first time in four years that Benz has seen his son.

Amarin TV reported that Benz may seek compensation from the Royal Thai Police (RTP) for depriving him of his freedom and life during his four years in prison.

“Which departments will be able to compensate me for what I have lost? It is a wound in my heart at this time. I lost the chance to see my son grow up. I did not have the chance to teach him how to walk, how to ride a bike or even how to call me father. What I have lost is priceless. No one can go back in time.”

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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