Another story of fraud in Thailand. This time with a company listed on the stock market : SECC.
What a perfect timing to boost the confidence of investors in those harsh times… 😉
The embattled luxury auto importer SEC Auto Sales and Services Plc (SECC) estimates that it suffered damage of 1.36 billion baht from an apparent case of internal fraud involving company chairman Sompong Witthayaraksan.
SECC told the Stock Exchange of Thailand yesterday that a preliminary investigation had found 476 cars missing from the company’s warehouse.
“Another had cars that have been confiscated from the showroom by Mr Sompong’s own creditors,” the company said.
SECC estimated initial damages from the case at 1.358 billion baht, or 60% of total company assets as of the end of the third quarter. The company was still in the process of reviewing possible losses of cash and other company assets in the case, said the statement, signed by managing director Phaibul Suksuthamwong.
Mr Sompong, who apparently has left the country, is suspected of using company assets as collateral against loans to personal creditors.
Shares of SECC have been suspended since last Thursday, after the Securities and Exchange Commission ordered the company to undergo a special audit about possible losses at the firm.
Securities regulators ordered the company to clarify reports that subsidiary SECC Holding had extended loans of 245 million baht to four parties.
SEC secretary-general Thirachai Phuvanatnaranubala said yesterday that company directors held a fiduciary responsibility for the activities of not only their companies, but also the actions of subsidiaries and related firms.
“Directors who have no culpability should be the first to find out who is responsible and notify the authorities and police if wrongdoing is discovered,” Mr Thirachai said. (Bangkok Post)
As usual, the story is surreal. Thai bosses love to use their company’s assets… for more personal use. This is classic in Thailand… But here, it’s much worse : collateral for personal loans, plus… 476 cars missing.
Is the chairman the only culprit ? Was it possible for him to act alone ?
A -luxury- car stored in a warehouse is not really like a donut stored in a convenient store…