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Pattaya Daily News

04 December 2007 :: 13:12:41 pm 38444


BANGKOK, Dec 3 – Thailand‘s Criminal Court handed down a three-year jail term for the leader of the Matchimatippatai Party, Prachai Leophairatana, who was found guilty of stock manipulation between 2003-2004, but he was later released on bail.
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Mr. Prachai, founder of the once high-flying Thai Petrochemical Industry (TPI), was convicted of manipulating the share price of a cement company, TPI Polene Plc (TPIPL) in 2003 which then applied to become a listed company. At the time he was chief executive officer of TPI, the umbrella group of TPIPL.

The Criminal Court also ruled that he was guilty of violating stock market regulations, for releasing information about the company ahead of its Bt11.1 billion share offering in January 2004.

On August 5, 2004, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged that Mr. Prachai had released information which could mislead other people about a possible rise in the TPIPL share price. Mr. Prachai’s stockbroker, Chienchuang Kalayanamitr, was convicted of conspiring to mislead the initial public offering relating to the value of TPIPL.

Mr. Chienchuang also received a three-year jail term. His brokerage house and TPIPL were each fined Bt6.9 billion.

Both men were sentenced without suspending the execution of the judgement.

Mr. Prachai said he still believed in justice and would appeal the verdict. He vowed to fight to lead his political party in the December 23 election.

The court later allowed bail for Mr. Prachai after his lawyer submitted a Bt1 million government bond as surety.

Under the 2007 Constitution, a person sentenced to jail by a court without bail or detention under the court order is disqualified to contest a general election, according to Election Commission chairman Apichart Sukhagganond.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Crime News

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