Interpol Red Notice Sought for Ex-Stark Chairman

An undated photo of Stark's former chairman Chanin Yensudchai.
An undated photo of Stark's former chairman Chanin Yensudchai.

BANGKOK — The Department of Special Investigation, or DSI, on Friday said they are requesting the Interpol to issue a Red Notice for Stark’s former chairman Chanin Yensudchai, who is believed to have fled to Hong Kong after being accused of fraud.

DSI spokeswoman Pichaya Tarakornsanti said the agency contacted the Interpol asking for Chanin’s whereabouts after a warrant was out for his arrest. The former chairman of the electrical wire maker and nine other individuals were accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, of providing false financial statements, with damages from the company’s debts estimated at more than 38 billion baht.

The Interpol Red Notice would notify member police forces around the world to locate and detain the suspect for an extradition.

The scandal came to light after Stark failed to submit its financial statements in time, prompting the securities regulator to order a special audit of the company and the stock exchange to suspend the company from trade.

The initial report released in May found irregular sales volume and stock quantity in its books and the company had to restate its financial reports to show two consecutive years of net losses between 2021 and 2022. The company initially reported a profit of 2.79 billion baht for 2021, but the subsequent audit showed that it was actually a loss of 5.98 billion baht.

Former chief financial officer Sattha Chantrasettalert said in a televised interview on MCOT last week that he had falsified financial statements to raise Stark’s share price following a direct order from Chanin.

Authorities ordered the seizure of assets of Stark, as well as its executives and subsidiaries, for the duration of 180 days and a 15-day travel ban on five individuals including Chanin and Sattha. The order can be extended by the court.

DSI said they seized over 100 million baht in assets from the company.

More than 1,700 retail investors have registered for a class action against the company and its executives, saying they were lured into buying Stark shares by falsified financial statements. The company’s share price had surged to over 5 baht each at its peak, but plunged to 0.02 baht after the scandal surfaced.

The company said they are considering options such as filing for bankruptcy and selling assets outside of its core business to prevent it from being delisted.