Company scandal : missing luxury cars and missing chairman

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…

6 Responses to “Company scandal : missing luxury cars and missing chairman”

  1. 1 chinesethai 10 December 2008 at 12:55 am

    There are probably a hundred more of such type in the stock market.

    ThaiCrisis, he was well connected with some top ranks in the police dept, the army, and of course political parties.

    In fact, strangely enough, the office building that SECC occupies is the one he bought from another owner, who was also convicted of insider trading too. He once sat in Thaksin’s cabinet. This guy also have disappeared for years.

  2. 2 FDL 10 December 2008 at 1:10 am

    I like whodunits, whydunits and howdunits?
    The howdunit – – how to make 456 cars vanish in thin air could be Hollywood stuff.

  3. 3 Khun jay 10 December 2008 at 5:10 am

    Another well run Thai business, a perfect example of a tight ship.

    Looks like the cars were sold for cash (at a large discount) so the owners who will be traced; will have the pleasure of handing over the keys/vehicle to the police when they visit.

    Quite amazing!!!

  4. 4 Black Jeep 10 December 2008 at 9:24 am

    Possibley they are out of the country. Either are sold or traded to clear up dept. These niche vehicle are not so much useful for parts. Tehy will be easily spotted on street, and easily traced with VIN when they come into garages for manitenance and parts.

  5. 5 Rathna 31 December 2008 at 6:42 am

    Quite amazing!! I feel they would have sold those cars for quit a good amount, and even tracing out the owners too is so easy if they have exported out of palce; so this will only be police man’s headache.

  6. 6 Moss 23 May 2009 at 11:24 pm

    Typical Chinese swindling Thai assets. This is just how the Chinese in Thailand accumulate wealth my ripping off Thai companies and Thai banks.

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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.

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