Bank officer testifies in Tong murder trial

PHUKET TOWN: The prosecution called a bank officer to the witness stand at the Phuket Provincial Courthouse today, in the resumption of the trial of five people charged in connection with the murder of businessman Danis Wayne Tong. Manit Panme, Prajuab Sukkong, Pairat Raksawong, Pratin Praktong and Belgian entrepreneur Hugo Vandervelde stand accused of taking part in a murder-for-hire scheme that resulted in the gunning down of Tong, a 47-year-old American businessman, outside his Rawai home on the night of June 24, 1997. Khun Prasarn Lohachareekul, an officer of the Chaofa Road branch of Siam Commercial Bank, told the court that Thai Flemish Trading Company maintained a current account at the branch. There were three authorized signatories on the account, any two of whom were required to sign checks. The three were Vandervelde, Khun Charn Wongsatayanont and Khun Nantana Wongsatayanont. Khun Prasarn said Tong presented two checks to the bank early in March, 1997. Both were signed by Vandervelde and Khun Charn. Each was for 100,000 baht, one dated January 31, 1997 and the other February 28, 1997. Khun Prasarn said the bank refused to honor the checks because there was not enough money in the Thai Flemish account. The trial was adjourned until July 9.

Phuket News
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