Supreme Court Upholds Rakesh Saxena’s 335-Year Prison Sentence

The Supreme Court has upheld lower courts’ rulings against financier Rakesh Saxena, who has been sentenced to 335 years in prison in three related cases.

Mr. Saxena has fought multiple cases related to the Bangkok Bank of Commerce (BBC) embezzlement scandal since he was indicted 26 years ago.

On Monday, Bangkok’s South Criminal Court closed three fraud and embezzlement cases believed to have brought down the bank and contributed to the Asian financial crisis in 1997.

Prosecutors charged Mr. Saxena, 70, with embezzlement while he served as the BBC’s treasury adviser. In addition, he reportedly facilitated dozens of high-risk ventures and deals for at least 30 years.

Although Mr. Saxena played a key role in running the BBC’s business from 1993 to 1995, particularly in lending funds to investors, the bank was forced to close after suffering heavy losses.

According to the court ruling, the financier was found guilty of violating the Securities and Exchange Commission Act in three cases.

The crimes were reportedly committed during 1994-1996 when Mr. Saxena was serving as an adviser to the now-defunct BBC late president Krirkkiat Jalichandra.

Mr. Saxena reportedly helped others, including Mr. Krirkkiat, authorize loans valued at more than 30 million baht to Somprasong Intercommunication Co and nine other companies without complying with the requirements to assess the companies’ repayment capacity.

Since the bank’s executive committee did not approve the loan authorization, Mr. Saxena’s actions violated the Bank of Thailand’s rules on requests for loans worth more than 30 million baht.

Both Mr. Saxena and his alleged accomplices were also charged with conspiring to embezzle the money. The prosecution asked the court to demand the defendant return 2.5 billion baht to the bank under the Securities and Exchange Commission Act.

The Criminal Court first found Mr. Saxena guilty of violating sections 307, 308, 311, and 315 of the Stock Exchange of Thailand Act. He was also found guilty of breaching Section 83 of the Criminal Code and was sentenced to 335 years behind bars.

According to the court ruling, Mr. Saxena was also required to pay a 33-million-baht fine and return 2,500 million baht to the bank.

The financier appealed the ruling. However, the Appeal Court upheld the lower court’s decision.

Mr. Saxena then challenged the decision in front of the Supreme Court. However, it upheld the lower court’s decision, saying that the ruling came after the evidence presented by the prosecution was reviewed, concluding that the defendant had committed the crimes as charged.