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Valentino faces encroachment charges

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Valentino faces encroachment charges | Thaiger

BANGKOK (The Nation): Malaysian national Tan Teik Hai, better known known as Phuket’s former honorary consul to Morocco “Valentino”, 56, is facing charges involving encroachment on more than 1,000 rai on Koh Yao Yai.

After completing its investigation into a development project on Koh Yao Yai, the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) recommended prosecution against Tan and his in-laws Bunlert and Krajang Kheereephorn for encroaching on forest and public land.

Jeeliang Fishery Phuket Co, which hired the three relatives, also faces charges.

Tan’s wife, Sudjai Kheereephon, has not been charged. At the time of her and her husband’s arrest at their home in Phuket on October 29, she was honorary consul to Djibouti.

DSI Director-General Sunai Manomai-udom on Wednesday said that officials who allegedly helped the suspects with document forgery will not face charges because the statute of limitations had run out.

However, he added that an ongoing extensive DSI probe would soon lead to loan officers at local branches of two commercial banks being charged for facilitating the encroachment.

Although K. Sunai did not explain how the unidentified bank employees helped the suspects, it is believed that loans worth around 3 billion baht were secured by Valentino and his associates using improperly issued land title deeds as collateral.

All four suspects have been released on bail of 200,000 baht each.

The first Public Prosecutor’s hearing is set for April 27.

Click here for more details in the Gazette‘s previous report in the case.

 

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