Nop Narongdej’s lawyers issued a press release explaining the latest developments in the Wind Energy Holding (WEH) stock case. They confirm that the Thai court has ruled the sale of WEH shares by REC to Khunying Korkaew “not deemed defrauding creditors,” and the English court’s ruling to punish Mr. Nop Narongdej and several other defendants is not valid in Thailand.
The press release stated that before Mr. Nopporn Suppipat’s companies filed the WEH shares-related case in the English court, specifically the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales (Commercial Court), Mr. Nopporn’s companies already filed a “criminal case” in the Thai court, specifically the South Bangkok Municipal Court, on January 23, 2018, on the matter of “cheating against creditors.”
They requested the court to punish Mr. Nop Narongdej, and several other defendants according to the Thai Penal Code, alleging that the transfer of WEH shares held by REC to Khunying Korkaew was done with “special intent” to prevent Mr. Nopporn’s companies from collecting debt from Mr. Nop’s companies, which were the shareholders of REC.
At the time Mr. Nopporn’s companies filed the case in the English court, the Thai court had not yet made a judgment.
Mr. Nopporn’s companies filed the case in the English court six months later, on August 7, 2018, as a “civil case” to claim damages from Mr. Nop’s group, adding three more defendants from the Thai court case: Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), Mr. Arthid Nanthawithaya, and Mr. Weerawong Chittmittrapap as defendants, alleging that all defendants jointly committed a “wrongful act” according to the Thai Civil and Commercial Code.
This involved the defendants jointly and intentionally “committing an offense” against Mr. Nopporn’s companies, thereby causing damage to Mr. Nopporn’s group. The alleged “commission of the offense” was characterized as “defrauding creditors” according to the Thai Penal Code.
This was because REC transferred the held WEH shares to Khunying Korkaew with “special intent” to prevent Mr. Nopporn’s companies from collecting debt from Mr. Nop’s companies, the shareholders of REC. This was the same fact that Mr. Nopporn’s companies had previously filed a “criminal case” in the Thai court.
The English court would have to apply “Thai law”, which is the law of the country where the “wrongful act” occurred, in making its judgment.
The English court made its ruling on 31 July 2023, dismissing the case against Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) and Mr. Arthid, but ordering all the remaining defendants to jointly pay a substantial amount of money to Mr. Nopporn’s companies.
The English court ruled that there was “defrauding creditors” according to the Thai Penal Code, which constituted a joint act of “wrongful act” by the defendants according to the Thai Civil and Commercial Code.
However, on October 31, the South Bangkok Municipal Court made a “dismissal” judgment for Khunying Korkaew, Mr. Nop, and all the other defendants, stating that they did not commit “defrauding creditors,” which effectively completely reversed the judgment of the English court. Therefore, the past judgment of the English court no longer holds any validity for anyone to claim for any purpose in Thailand.
The South Bangkok Municipal Court has ruled that the sale of shares in Wind Energy Limited by REC is “not considered as defrauding creditors” since there was no “special intent” to cause Mr. Nopporn’s companies to not receive debt repayment from Mr. Nop’s companies, an element of the offense of “defrauding creditors.” “Because it was an action taken out of necessity and was a consequence of Mr. Nopporn’s own defective qualities… which caused significant investment obstacles for Wind Energy Limited, which are considered factors in business operations. Should these not be re-structured, they would inevitably damage the value of already invested assets, including the value of the business that must be continued in the future, which the damage… would also cause harm to other investors involved in the business.” That is, the act was done out of necessity arising from Mr. Nopporn.
Furthermore, the South Bangkok Municipal Court also ruled that in the evidence provided by Mr. Nopporn’s group, “no mention was made of the fact that Mr. Nopporn, who was the executive with control over the original operations of Wind Energy Limited, was accused of committing offenses … under the Penal Code, Section 112, which was a major cause of operational problems for the Wind Energy Limited group since late 2014. The presentation of evidence by Mr. Nopporn’s group was evasive by not revealing the detrimental facts about Mr. Nopporn, who was the former top executive of the Wind Energy Limited group, implying concealment of facts which were the cause of the problems created by Mr. Nopporn himself and resulted in the business facing obstacles and losing credibility among investors and financial institutions that would support investment funding. Especially that fact caused Siam Commercial Bank not to approve the drawdown of the loan that Watabak Limited, which is part of the Wind Energy Limited group, urgently needed for business operations.”
Mr. Weerawong Chittmittrapap, a legal advisor, said that the decision by an English judge that the defendants conspired to “defraud the creditors” stems from a refusal to consider evidence presented by witnesses who have no “motive” that would make them unreliable. Mr. Weerawong insisted that he had no other interest or “motive” that would necessitate giving advice to the client that would lead to an illegal act. All these facts were presented in the case and were well acknowledged by the English judge.