Woman Accused of Swindling Millions From Royal Charity

Pins sold by Ananda Mahidol Foundation for charity

BANGKOK — The Anti-Money Laundering Office said Tuesday said it has seized assets from a woman who allegedly embezzled 56 million baht from a royal charity.

In a statement released last night, the agency said Nichapat Noommuang forged signatures of His Majesty the King’s personal advisers on cheques and withdrew millions of bahts from the Ananda Mahidol Foundation, a charity dedicated to the late King Rama VIII that gives out annual scholarships in the fields of science and medicine.

Nichapat, who worked in the royal treasury, allegedly swindled up to 56 million baht from 2010 to 2018 and distributed the money among family and friends, according to the agency.

She is now charged with forgery, embezzlement and other related offenses, the statement said, though it was not mentioned if she also faces a charge of royal insult, as have been laid in previous cases of fraud involving the monarchy.

The Anti-Money Laundering Office also said it had confiscated 14 properties, land plots, cars and motorcycles from those involved. The combined assets seized were said to be worth about 18 million baht.

Agency director Preecha Jaroensahayanon could not be reached for comment as of publication time.

Nichapat is identified online as being one of several suspects linked in 2018 to a fraudulent skincare operation called Magic Skin. Health officials said four people died after using the supplements.