Ex-KMITL rector charged with fraud involving about 700 million baht fund

Former rector of King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL) and two other individuals were on Tuesday (Nov 14) escorted by police to the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) to acknowledge criminal charges against them which include theft, falsifying and using falsified documents, misappropriation and malfeasance in office.

The ex-rector, Tawil Paungma, was arrested by CSD police at a house in Ladkrabang while the former assistant rector, Sappasit Limnorarat, was nabbed at a house in Muang district of Nonthaburi.  The third suspect, Kongrith Singkote, former manager of the Siam Commercial Bank’s Suvarnabhumi branch, was apprehended at Srimuangthong market in Khon Kaen province.

After about six hours of interrogation, all the three suspects have denied the charges, saying that they would give their testimonies in the court.  They were later escorted to the Central Corruption Court by the police to seek court’s permission for their detention.

Pol Col Thongchai Yookate, superintendent of 1st subdivision of the CSD, said that the arrest of the three men followed a complaint lodged with the police by the KMITL management that an addition of 689 million baht had been missing from the institute’s bank accounts believed misappropriated by Mr Tawil and his accomplices.

The Central Corruption Court approved the police request for an arrest warrant against Mr Thawil for alleged involvement in the massive fraud.

Both Mr Tawil and Mr Sappasit had earlier been arrested under suspicion of stealing about 1.6 billion baht from the institute’s bank accounts. They were however released on bail, but Mr Kongrith, the former bank manager, was a witness in the earlier case and was just arrested.

Five other officials of the same institute were earlier arrested for alleged involvement in the 1.6 billion baht theft.  They are Mr Kittisak Matthujad, Mr Songklod Sriprasong, Ms Amporn Noisamrith, Mr Poonsak Boonsawat and Mr Chirawat Sahaporn-udomkarn. They are being detained at Min Buri special prison.

Pol Col Thongchai said that the five suspects would face additional charges involving the theft of 689 million baht from the institute’s bank accounts.

The alleged fraud was uncovered in 2015 when the institute’s incumbent management found suspicious transactions in the institute’s bank accounts and a complaint was lodged with the CSD police.