Chanin Yensudjai, nabbed in Dubai and deported, faces charges for the Stark Corporation scandal that rocked the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET). Authorities are ready to object to bail as investors await justice as the court process begins to deal with the huge fraud case.

An on-the-run former star company executive landed back down to earth on Sunday morning in Bangkok. Police and top Department of Special Investigation (DSI) investigators were on hand to formally arrest Chanin Yensudjai. It came after his plane touched down at Suvarnabhumi Airport from Dubai. Mr Chanin was taken into custody in Dubai on Saturday after a request was made to United Arab Emirates authorities by Thai PM Srettha Thavisin. He faces questions about the loss of nearly ฿15 billion in shareholders’ funds in the now-collapsed firm.

Former Stark Corporation Chairman Chanin Yensudjai as he was escorted through Suvarnabhumi Airport on Sunday morning. He was taken for questioning at the Department of Special Investigation (DSI). (Source: Department of Special Investigation (DSI) and Government House).

A top executive at the centre of a fraud scandal that has rocked the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) was deported to Thailand on Sunday.

64-year-old Chanin Yensudjai was met at Suvarnabhumi Airport at 8 am by Department of Special Investigation (DSI) officers and a contingent of police. On Saturday, officials in Dubai acting for the United Arab Emirates government informed Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s office of the imminent deportation of the suspect.

Landed suspect is to be taken to the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) headquarters for questioning by investigators working on the huge fraud case

On Saturday, officials at the PM’s office in Government House said that Mr Chanin would be taken on Sunday for questioning at the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) headquarters. Afterwards, he will be brought before the courts with bail expected to be denied.

A press briefing on the situation was due again on Sunday evening.

Mr Chanin had gone missing in mid-2023, and in July last year, an Interpol Red Notice was issued. Previously, he was Chairman of the Stark Corporation, which, together with four subsidiaries, was responsible for the loss of nearly ฿15 billion in shareholders’ funds.

SET is one of Asia worst performing bourses

Indeed, the Stark fraud scandal has severely impacted the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), which has been in decline since. Certainly, so far this year, the Thai index is down by 7.7%. It is one of the worst-performing bourses in Asia.

In addition to Thailand’s problematic economy, this scandal is cited as a key reason for the lack of confidence. The collapse of Stark and the revelations surrounding it saw up to 5,000 small Thai investors lose substantial sums.

Presently, there are 11 defendants in a widening Department of Special Investigation (DSI) probe.

These include Vonnarat Tangkaravakoon, the largest shareholder and former board member. Mr Vonnarat is currently imprisoned. However, he was controversially moved to the Police General Hospital for treatment in April this year.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has persistently called for urgent police action to address the highly damaging affair.

Eleven defendants after initial queries by the firm’s auditors in  early 2023 turned into a full exposé of corporate fraud with doctored financial statements

The fraud collapsed last year after a Department of Special Investigation (DSI) probe recommended charges against seven people.

The charges relate to irregular financial reporting. In essence, the firm is accused of deceiving shareholders with false and misleading financial data.

PM Srettha blames stock market fall on politics but the trend is linked to fundamental economic decline

Meanwhile, investigators allege that large sums of money were misappropriated.

In July last year, after failing to report to the DSI to acknowledge charges, an Interpol notice was sought for Mr Chanin. Simultaneously, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was asked to cancel his passport.

Top executives at the firm as well as several secretaries facing criminal charges over the fraud scandal which has still to play out before the courts

Other Stark executives linked with the scandal include Mr Sathar Chantrasettalead, Chief Financial Officer, board member Chinawat Assavapokee, and former marketing chief Kittisak Jitprasertngam. In addition, Mr Sathar’s secretary Ms Yosabavorn Amarit and Mr Chanin’s secretary Ms Nattaya Prabpetch found themselves embroiled in the scandal and facing charges.

The fraud cases linked with the collapsed company will take years to be processed through the courts.

The Stark firm and four subsidiaries were involved in wire and cable manufacturing. It was seen as a technological firm and a star performer on Thailand’s stock market.

The fraud came to light at the beginning of 2023 when external auditors raised questions about the firm’s accounts. In turn, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) became involved.

Deck of cards involving fake accounts and a misleading financial performance profile collapsed quickly after authorities began to probe the affair in 2023

Thereafter, the deck of cards that were the firm’s financial statements over previous years collapsed. In truth, investigators discovered a fraud that had lured unsuspecting investors. This includes false accounts in addition to allegations of forgery.

At this point, 4,704 investors have filed complaints with the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) with total losses amounting to ฿14.7 billion.

On Sunday, Mr Chanin claimed he was not arrested by the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) police at 9 am after his arrival. Certainly, he did accept that he left Dubai at short notice.

Mr Chanin was escorted home by DSI officers dispatched to Dubai by the government. Orders for this came from the government after news of his deportation from Dubai was verified on Saturday.

The situation was confirmed by Minister Chakkraphong Saengmanee of the Prime Minister’s Office.

At length, the minister told reporters that previously there had been some discussions with Mr Chanin. The on-the-run accused fraudster had complained about his security after his life was threatened.

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