Supachai's sentence cut to 7 years in KCUC case

Imprisoned former chairman of the Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative (KCUC), Supachai Srisupa-aksorn, in prison garb. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The Appeal Court on Thursday reduced the prison sentence given to convicted embezzler and former chairman of the Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative (KCUC) Supachai Srisupa-aksorn to seven years.

The court initially reduced the lower court’s sentence from 16 years to 14, and then halved it because he confessed.

The court declined to suspend the sentence, because of the seriousness of the offence and the damage caused to KCUC depositors, so he remains behind bars.

In March last year, the Criminal Court sentenced Supachai to 32 years in jail for siphoning off a total of 22.13 million baht from the cooperative on eight occasions from April 10 to Oct 8, 2013.  

He pleaded guilty in court to embezzlement, which he initially denied during police interrogation.

The lower court reduced the sentence to 16 years, without suspension, due to his confession.

Supachai, 60, was on Thursday taken from Bang Kwang Central Prison, where he has been held without bail since April 2 last year, to hear the Appeal Court’s decision.

Supachai had earlier directed his lawyer to repay 27 million baht to the KCUC, and on these grounds appealed for a lighter sentence, Thai media reported.

The media were not allowed to take photos of him when he arrived at the court on Thursday.

In refusing to suspend the sentence, the court saw no reason to do so. His actions had caused great damage to the KCUC, which was forced to undergo full financial rehabilitation, and damaged public faith,  even though he had eventually paid the money back to the cooperative.

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has brought several charges against Supachai in relation to the 12-billion-baht scandal, including three for embezzlement, three for money laundering, and another for public fraud.

This is the first in which he has been sentenced.

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