Thai court dismisses charges against Myanmar tycoon

The Criminal Court has dismissed charges against Tun Min Latt, a businessman with ties to Myanmar’s junta leaders, on the grounds that evidence used by the public prosecutor was not strong enough.

Tun Min Latt was indicted in December 2022, along with a Thai-American man named Dean Yong Gultula. Also indicted were a Thailand-registered firm connected to both men, called Allure Group (P&E) Co Ltd, and two other people involved in the company. All defendants pleaded not guilty in the January 2023 trial.

The four defendants were charged with money laundering, transnational organized crime, and drug trafficking after being arrested on 17 September 2022. An arrest warrant was also issued for Thai senator Upakit Pachariyangkun, Gultula’s father-in-law, on drug trafficking and money laundering charges, but the warrant was quickly withdrawn.

Tun Min Latt is accused of transferring funds derived from drug sales to the Allure Group. Gultula allegedly oversaw the transfer of funds to Allure from a related firm, Myanmar Allure Group Company Limited.

According to the indictment, the Allure Group was used to transform money gained from offences related to drugs into commodities in the form of electricity that was exported to Myanmar.”

Upakit was previously a director of the Myanmar Allure Group. Corporate records show that he left the company in 2019, when he was appointed to the Senate by the military government which came into power after the 2014 coup. Three months after Upakit was appointed senator, Gultula replaced him as director.

On Tuesday (30 January), the Ratchadapisek Criminal Court dismissed charges against all defendants on the grounds that the evidence used by the public prosecutor were not strong enough to find them guilty and were refutable by evidence presented by the defence.

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