THE Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has filed criminal charges against Chai Bunnag and 11 accomplices over the alleged manipulation of Solution Corner 1988 (SLC) shares back in 2010.
DSI sources said notices have been issued for the accused to report to DSI officials by the end of this week. The investigation into this case moved forward after authorities found new evidence that was not known in 14 previous and related cases dropped by public prosecutors.As a result, the DSI alleged that Chai and others violated the Securities and Exchange Commis-sion (SEC) Act by manipulating shares of SLC to mislead investors.
SLC, currently called News Network Corporation or News, and its subsidiaries are the major shareholders of Spring News digital TV station. SLC also has a stake in Nation Multimedia Group.
Beside Chai, the other accomplices facing the stock manipulation charges are Poraman Buranasin, Supichaya Chai-muanwong, Meesak Makbamrung, Apinun-thakan Pongsatabodi, Thepparit Sihisarapisit, Tri Boonpasai, Chanathip Tuntipuntham, Pawit Nathapin, Siriya Damrong-vithitham, and Thai Bunpasai.
Sources said the DSI had also asked the court to issue an arrest warrant for an unnamed acco-mplice who might flee. According to the SEC document used as the basis for this case by the DSI, shares of SLC were manipulated from January 29 to April 29, 2010 and from May 3 to July 21 the same year, involving a total of nine trading accounts. As a result, the prices and trading volume of SLC shares allegedly moved in an unusual pattern in those periods.
The share price moved from Bt6.1 per share on March 30, 2010 to Bt7.2 on April 29, 2010, up Bt1.1 or 18.3 per cent, while the MAI Index dropped 3.35 per cent. In addition, the trading volume of SLC shares jumped from 660,000 to 2,240,000 shares , up 239.4 per cent without significant market-moving information to back the price movement.
Prosecutors believed that the unusual price movement resulted from the manipulative practices of buying orders issued by the accomplices, which accounted for 55.6 per cent of the total trading volume.
The SEC document also alleged that all these accomplices acted at the same time on given days during the mentioned periods and SLC share prices would be unchanged when they did not enter the market.
Regarding Chai, the SEC document alleged that Bt75 million from his bank account was used to buy shares of SLC , while Poramun and Supichaya invested another Bt10 million. Investigators found that Chai was the person who controlled the use of funds in acquiring SLC.
A key witness also claimed that Chai had assigned him to provide data on SLC and other stocks, while there were bank withdrawals and fund transfers under the names of Chai and other accomplices for the buying of SLC shares, allegedly to create artificial price rises in SLC stock to mislead other investors.
The SEC document claims Chai is believed to lead this group in manipulating the shares of SLC. Sources said Pol Colonel Songsak Raksaksakul, deputy DSI chief, was in charge of the team that launched a new round of inquiries in this case.