Criminal complaint filed

Criminal complaint filed
Published: 19 December 2003

The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday filed a criminal complaint against Orapin Leophairatana, former senior executive vice-president of TPI Polene, for alleged securities price manipulation.  Also named in the complaint was Waranyu Pornhommas. The SEC filed the complaint with the Economic Crime Investigation Division yesterday.  Mrs Orapin, the wife of TPI Polene founder Prachai Leophairatana, and Mrs Waranyu, a company employee, were accused of manipulating the firm's share prices from Feb 25 to June 27.  The SEC said the two parties purchased 16.47 million TPIPL shares through corporate and individual accounts split into several trading orders.  The trades helped share prices of TPIPL rise from 16 baht on Feb 24 to 17 baht on Feb 27. Later trades were made to maintain TPIPL's share price on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at the 17-baht level for over 20 days.  In March, TPIPL, the country's third largest cement producer, floated 714 million new shares at 17 baht each in a failed effort to raise US$180m as required under its debt-restructuring plan.  The company will attempt a similar capital increase again next month. Mrs Orapin insisted that she was innocent of any wrongdoing.  "I am confident that I will be cleared in court. These charges represent harassment by Mr Prasarn [Trairatvorakul, SEC secretary-general]," she said.  "I expect to be fully exonerated in court. Mr Prasarn must take responsibility for what has happened."