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Investigation Bangkok Bank Over

May 27, 1999

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) _ Police have completed their investigations into the looting of Bangkok Bank of Commerce and have forwarded evidence to support prosecuting 40 former executives, the Bangkok Post reported Thursday.

The attorney general will decide which cases to take to court, but with reports on the cases averaging 10,000 pages each, there is no telling when a decision will be made, the paper said.

Twenty-six of the cases were described by police at the Economic Crimes Division as major.

The scandal at the Bangkok Bank of Commerce emerged in 1996. In what police have described as collusion, bank executives allegedly lent vast sums of money to a clique of politicians who put up collateral described as worthless and used the money for attempted hostile takeovers of companies.

Nearly $3 billion was borrowed and never repaid to the bank, which plunged into insolvency. It was taken over the by the government and eventually shut down.

Reports did not detail if any politicians would be prosecuted along with the former bank executives.

Three of the executives have fled the country, including Rakesh Saxena, an ethnic Indian former BBC official who was described as Thailand’s takeover king. Saxena is in Canada fighting extradition to Thailand. He has said he believes he will be made the scapegoat for the scandal because of his Indian origins.

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