THE Supreme Court today (Sept. 12) upheld a sentence of a 335 years imprisonment and 33.5 million baht fine plus refund of 2.5 billion baht against Indian financier Rakesh Saxena for massive embezzlement that led to the collapse of Bangkok Bank of Commerce (BBC) in the mid-1990s, TV Channel 7 and Matichon newspaper said.
However the imprisonment was set at 20 years in keeping with Section 91 (2) of the Penal Code plus 33.5 million baht fine.
This scandal triggered a run on BBC’s deposits that finally led to its collapse with this contributing to the devaluation of the baht and helped spark the Asian financial crisis.
Saxena was arrested in 1996 but was extradited from Canada only in 2009 after fighting the longest extradition battle in Canadian history, lasting 13 years.
The prosecutors had told the court that between 1994 to 1996 the defendant, who was an adviser to former BBC president Krirkkiat Jalichandra, had fraudulently approved over 30 million baht loans to private companies without first getting approval from the credit committee and the bank’s executive committee.
Moreover these loans were given without the loan applicants having to place collateral nor their ability to repay analysed. This is in violation of Bank of Thailand regulations.
The defendant and others who joined him also obtained other unlawful benefits, the prosecutors said.
They demanded that the defendant refund 722,136,005.03 baht plus 1,427,195,799.92 baht and another amount of 353,363,966 baht to the defunct bank according to the Securities Act.
The Court of First Instance had sentenced Saxena to 335 years in prison and a fine of 33.5 million baht for a total 67 charges brought against him. However the imprisonment was set at 20 years in keeping with Section 91 (2) of the Penal Code plus 33.5 million baht fine. Failure to pay the fine will lead to an additional two years imprisonment.
The Appeals Court later upheld this verdict.
Today the Supreme Court likewise upheld it ruling that the evidence showed without any doubt that the defendant committed these offences.
Rakesh Saxena in court today. Photo: Matichon