Thursday, April 22, 2021

Former president of Chulalongkorn University’s savings cooperative jailed for 50 years in lottery fraud case

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The Appeal Court has jailed a former president of Chulalongkorn University’s savings cooperative for 50 years for money laundering in relation to a lottery investment fraud.

The court yesterday sentenced Sawad Saengbangpla, 80, and two other defendants — Jiratchada Khunyodying, 24, and her partner, Pawisaporn Baiket, 29. The three were accused of colluding in laundering 42 million baht of the university cooperative’s funds, and also of swindling people out of 183.7 million baht in a lottery investment scam.

The court said Sawad abused his position to deceive people, claiming he had received a quota to sell government lottery tickets and that they would each month receive 1% of the amount that they had lent the cooperative to buy the tickets.

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Sawad also falsely promised them that they would get back all of their investment plus interest in the final month in which they participated.

The Court of First Instance jailed Sawad on Jan 21 to 20 years, deeming that he had on many occasions transferred money gained from fraud to Pawisaporn via Ms Jiratchada’s bank account. Pawisaporn himself was imprisoned for three years but Ms Jiratchada was acquitted due to insufficient evidence.

Sawad actually received a total prison sentence of 54 years but in his case the law sets a limit of 50 years. Pawisaporn was initially jailed for four years but the sentence was cut to three years because he had pleaded guilty.

A former associate professor who also taught computer engineering at Chulalongkorn, Sawad has been in custody since he was arrested in May 2017.

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