Backlash over Stark scandal suspect’s hospital transfer
Backlash over Stark scandal suspect’s hospital transferLegacy

The Department of Corrections (DoC) faced heavy criticism yesterday for transferring a key suspect in the Stark Corporation scandal to the Police General Hospital (PGH), as victims of the financial misconduct accuse officials of granting him special treatment.

Dozens of investors affected by the Stark Corporation fraud case petitioned Justice Minister Tawee Sodsong, seeking transparency after discovering that Vonnarat Tangkaravakoon, the largest shareholder of Stark, was receiving medical care at the PGH.

Vonnarat is one of seven suspects charged with forgery, fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering under the Securities and Exchange Act. The alleged fraudulent activities impacted 4,704 shareholders and resulted in damages estimated at 14.7 billion baht.

He was detained at Bangkok Remand Prison on February 12 after his bail request was denied. The victims expressed outrage upon learning that he might be staying in a premium ward at the PGH following his transfer from the Corrections Hospital.

The Acting Director of the Corrections Hospital, Dr Pongpak Areeyapinant, explained at a press conference that after one week in detention, Vonnarat suffered from swollen testicles and was prescribed antibiotics for suspected infections.

“An examination confirmed there was a 5cm lump, likely malignant, he was transferred to the PGH on April 23 and underwent surgery on May 1.”

Tensions ran high at the press conference as the victims demanded clarification on who covered Vonnarat’s medical expenses, reported Bangkok Post.

In related news, Thonburi Healthcare is to invest 1.5 billion baht in cancer centres. Thonburi Healthcare Group Plc (THG) will invest 1–1.5 billion baht to establish three cancer centres in Thailand, aligning with the trend of specialised hospitals and expanding its operations in Myanmar and Vietnam.

In Thailand, three new cancer centres will be launched at Sirivej Chanthaburi Hospital in Chanthaburi, Thonburi Trang Hospital in Trang, and Ubonrak Thonburi Hospital in Ubon Ratchathani. Sirivej Chanthaburi Hospital’s centre is set to be operational by the end of 2024.

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Author: Mitch Connor