Prasit tries to evade court hearing

Prasit tries to evade court hearing

Police catch, nab three for helping him

Three people have been arrested for allegedly trying to help Prasit Jeawkok, a businessman embroiled in a 1-billion-baht fraud case, escape during his court hearing on Friday, according to police.

Prasit: Injures leg in escape bid

Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej, commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB), yesterday at a press briefing said Phahonyothin police were preparing to transfer the case dossier of three of Mr Prasit’s associates to the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) for investigation.

Mr Prasit was arrested last year following complaints by hundreds of people who said they lost money in a fraudulent scheme run by the suspect and his colleagues. They said the suspect promised high returns for investing in tour packages, a cooperative and luxury goods, among others. However, the suspect and his associates allegedly defrauded investors of their money instead.

Mr Prasit was brought to Bangkok’s Criminal Court yesterday, where he tried to escape justice.

According to police, a plan for his escape had been set up in advance, requiring Mr Prasit to take a toilet break on his way to a court hearing on the ninth floor to change clothes. Aides were then to help him escape, with about 11,000 baht in cash waiting in an escape vehicle, police said.

In court yesterday, Mr Prasit managed to break free of his ankle lock and change his attire, with a fake moustache in the restroom in an attempt to disguise himself, according to local media. However, a defendant reportedly recognised him and alerted officials, prompting Mr Prasit to stumble and injure his leg.

He was then arrested by the pursuing officers.

Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop said an expanded investigation has led to the arrest of Mr Prasit’s three associates — a female secretary, her boyfriend and someone only identified as Mr Somprasong.

Mr Somprasong allegedly placed Mr Prasit’s disguise in the restroom.

Police said the couple admitted their guilt and confessed they planned to bring Mr Prasit to an apartment in the Sam Yan area to change into another pair of clothes, Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop said.

Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop said the Department of Corrections has also formed a fact-finding probe to look into whether officials were involved in the attempted escape and how Mr Prasit had a key to free his ankles. He said an officer who was supposed to guard the restroom was being interrogated.

Mr Prasit is facing a charge of attempting to escape the court, which could carry up to three years in prison, while Mr Somprasong faces up to five years over his alleged involvement, he said.

The two others were being questioned, he said.