Former Loei police chief avoids B229m fraud questioning

Pol Lt Gen Surachai Kuandachacupt, commissioner of Provincial Police Region 4, speaks to reporters after Pol Maj Gen Suthip Palitkusolthat failed to show up for a scheduled questioning session in Khon Kaen on Wednesday. (Photo by Chakkrapan Natanri)

KHON KAEN: The former police chief of Loei, now deputy chief of the police human resources office, has failed to keep his third appointment for questioning about the alleged embezzlement of 299 million baht from 192 policemen in the northeastern province.

Pol Lt Gen Surachai Kuandachacupt, commissioner of the Provincial Police Region 4, said on Wednesday that a fact-finding committee of the regional office waited for the third time Wednesday morning to question Pol Maj Gen Suthip Palitkusolthat (pictured).

The invitation was for a 10am meeting at the regional office.

Many reporters were also waiting there but Pol Maj Gen Suthip did not show up.

After the three failed invitations, the regional office had now began its prosecution of Pol Maj Gen Suthip. He would be summonsed twice. If he still failed to show up, then an arrest warrant would be sought, Pol Lt Gen Surachai said.

Pol Maj Gen Suthip was previously chief of Loei police and chairman of the Loei police cooperative. It was alleged he invited local policemen to borrow from the cooperative to clear debts with creditor banks.

He also offered to manage the borrowed money, repaying their old debts and promising them monthly investment returns of about 5,000 baht. The 192 policemen believed in him and transferred money to Pol Maj Gen Suthip.

The deputy chief had failed to pay the promised returns since January and the 192 policemen were sued by their creditor banks.

They all became debtors of the banks and also of the Loei police cooperative.

Pol Lt Gen Surachai said the case might involve a ponzi scheme. There were claims the 229-million-baht sum had been invested in stocks and property. Police believe the scam was active in Loei, Khon Kaen and Nong Bua Lam Phu provinces.

To help the 192 Loei policemen, the Loei police cooperative has lent an additional 50,000 baht to each of them and the Royal Thai Police Office had the central police cooperative transfer 90 million baht to the Loei police cooperative to support its liquidity, Pol Lt Gen Surachai said.

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