6 Jun 2019

Money laundering charges against Thai restaurateurs withdrawn

1:05 pm on 6 June 2019

The Crown has withdrawn all charges against half of a group of Thai restaurateurs accused of tax fraud, abruptly ending their High Court trial.

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Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

The trial began last month in the High Court in Wellington and was expected to run for ten weeks, but it ended yesterday, with the Crown withdrawing all the money laundering charges the 11 defendants were facing.

One of the defendants, Boonrouen Thonsgkul, pleaded guilty to two evasion charges in relation to one company, AB Group Ltd, involving about $7000 dollars of unpaid tax and the remaining charges against her were withdrawn.

Sirirat Kampeng, Anchalee Minwong, Chanaratt Thongskul and Anuchit Tonsgkul each pleaded guilty to charges relating to tax evasion by them personally and their companies.

However, the amount involved has not yet been determined and discussions will continue between the Crown and defence lawyers.

All five will be sentenced at a later date.

All charges were withdrawn against six of the defendants: Vattanachai Kampeng, Chusak Minwong, Trai Sunathvanichkul, Trin Sunathvanichkul, Anchalee Thongskul, Rina Tongskul.