Stockbroker, mother charged in Chuwong case

A stockbroker claiming to be the mistress of Chuwong Sae Tang, and her mother, surrendered to police and denied charges of theft of shares held by the late billionaire contractor on Wednesday.

Uracha Wachirakulton, 26, a broker at AEC Securities Plc, and her mother Srithana Promma, 52, were accompanied by their lawyer when they reported to police investigators at the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) on Wednesday morning in response to a court arrest warrant.

They acknowledged and denied charges of theft of hundreds of millions of baht in shares from Chuwong.

Miss Uracha was charged with theft, document forgery and the use of forged documents that might cause damage to others. Her mother, was charged with theft and receiving stolen property.

They are among four suspects facing similar charges. The other two accused are former deputy commerce minister Banyin Tangpakorn and Kanthana Siwathanapol, a 26-year-old former golf caddie who also claimed to be Chuwong’s pregnant mistress.

Miss Uracha insisted on her innocence, saying she had a special relationship with Chuwong and that he had voluntarily transferred shares worth about 40 million baht to her mother.

The stockbroker said the share transfer documents had not been doctored as claimed. She said she knew Pol Lt Col Banyin because he was Chuwong’s friend, but she knew the late tycoon first.

She declined to answer a police question regarding Pol Lt Col Banyin’s claim that Chuwong had used a pen with an ink eraser on the end to sign his name on share transfer documents.

She said customers could use any type of pen they wished to sign their names and stockbrokers were only tasked with checking details.

Pol Col Prasert Pattanadee, a deputy CSD chief, said police investigators would apply the same bail criteria as Pol Lt Col Banyin, who was denied police bail but later granted court bail.

Pol Lt Col Banyin, 52, turned himself in to police on Tuesday and insisted on his innocence. He was later allowed bail of 5 million baht on a surety, warned not to tamper with the evidence and prohibited from leaving the country without the court’s prior approval.

Chuwong, 50, the owner of major construction firm Standard Performance, was found dead in the front passenger seat of a Lexus sport utility vehicle that collided with a roadside tree in Prawet district, Bangkok, on June 26.

Pol Lt Col Banyin was the driver. The two men first met during a course at the National Defence College several years ago.

Chuwong’s family questioned the transfers of Chuwong’s shares worth more than 260 million baht in total to two of the women on June 8 and 22, just days before the accident.

Shares in Chuwong’s name worth 228 million baht were transferred to Miss Kanthana, who is eight months pregnant and claims it is Chuwong’s child, a few days before he was found dead after the car crash. Ms Uracha received 40 million baht worth of shares from Chuwong through her mother’s account. Both young women reportedly also knew Pol Lt Col Banyin.