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Thai Land and Houses chairman quits after police summons on money laundering
May 22, 2017 / 10:50 AM / 6 months ago

Thai Land and Houses chairman quits after police summons on money laundering

BANGKOK, May 22 (Reuters) - The chairman of Thailand’s Land and Houses Pcl, a real estate firm with interests in banking and the financial sector, has resigned, the company said on Monday, after a police summons for questioning over land sales tied to an embezzlement case.

Chairman Anant Asavabhokhin has also resigned his position as chairman of LH Financial Group, held since 2009, and gave up his positions on the boards of Quality Houses and Home Product Center Pcl, it added.

The resignation follows last week’s summons over his suspected involvement with the Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative, which lost millions of dollars.

Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI), part of the justice ministry, wants to question Anant about his links to a 46-rai (7.4-hectare) land purchase by the former president of the Klongchan credit union, who is serving a 16-year prison term for embezzlement.

Reuters was unable to contact Anant, who is due to meet the DSI on June 7. Media last week quoted him as saying he was surprised to receive the police summons.

Reuters was referred to official statements when it tried to contact Land and Houses.

The DSI investigation is part of a larger case against the controversial Dhammakaya temple, whose former abbot, Phra Dhammachayo, 72, is wanted on charges of money-laundering and enroachment on public land.

In March, police raided the temple compound, but failed to find Phra Dhammachayo.

Last week, Taiwan’s largest credit card issuer, CTBC Bank , received approval from the Bank of Thailand to take a stake of 35.6 percent in LH Financial Group for 16.6 billion baht ($483 million). ($1=34.38 baht) (Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Patpicha Tanakasempipat and Clarence Fernandez)

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