The translation of a Bloomberg news report was posted on the Prachatai webboard jus after 6 pm, after the Thai stock market had already slumped and closed on 14 Oct. The news report in question is Richard Frost’s Thai Stocks, Baht Slump on King’s Health Speculation, whose title indicates that the ‘slump’ had already taken place.
Theeranan Wiphuchanin, using the alias BBB, posted her translation at 18:09.
How could the post have retroactively affected the stock market hours before it was posted? Many internet users have raised this question. Moreover, the Prachatai webboard and Fah Diew Kan, the latter in particular being a hardcore political forum, are unlikely places for investors to look for information to help them make stock market decisions. Although both BBB and Wet Dream, the username of Katha Pachachariyapong at Fah Diew Kan, are stockbrokers, they have obviously joined the forums for political reason.
Another question that arises is how the authorities were able to identify both of them, when the webmasters of both political websites have said that the authorities never asked them for the IP numbers of the accused. This is reminiscent of the recent arrest of Nat Sattayapornpisut, where it was never explained how the Thai authorities had access to the email accounts of either Nat or Emilio Esteban, Nat’s alleged accomplice in crime.
On 15 Oct, Thai Post and ASTV Manager quickly pointed to Bloomberg as the source of the rumour, although the article was a report on the rumour that had caused the Thai stock market to fall.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has so far found no irregularities in either suspects’ personal trading in the stock market before the ‘rumour mongering’. However, the commission has written to every stock-brokering firm to check on their buying and selling as well as their nominees and relatives.
Interestingly, in response to reporters’ observation that both suspects just posted the translation, but Bloomberg has yet to be mentioned by the authorities, Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij said that, ‘what the foreign news agency did was just to report on the rumour, just like what was reported by Thai media that affected the stock market. However, I have not seen the post and don’t know if there was any content added later to the original translation, as [the post] has been removed, but police have it all.’