Actress ‘Patt’ freed on bail, insists she’s innocent

Actress Napapa Tantrakul (left) sits in a room with refreshment on the table at the Narcotics Suppression Bureau, where she reported to police on Monday to acknowledge a money-laundering charge. (Photo by Krit Phromsakla Na Sakolnakorn)

Napapa “Patt” Tantrakul was released on court bail on Monday after the actress reported to the Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) and acknowledged a charge of laundering alleged drug cartel money.

The Criminal Court approved her bail request with no conditions attached after her lawyer posted a bond of 500,000 baht.

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Police took Ms Napapa from the NSB head office to the court after completing the process of charging her.

Police have linked her to the alleged criminal offence committed by her husband Akarakit Worarojcharoendet, alias Benz Racing. According to police investigators, Mr Akarakit wired a total of 1.98 million baht to his wife’s bank account between April last year and February this year.

Police suspect it was dirty money laundered for Lao drug kingpin Xaysana Keopimpha through another suspect, Natthaphol “Boy” Nakkham.

Ms Napapa has handed 1.5 million baht over to police while they investigate the source and to show her innocence. The rest was sent back to her husband, according to police.

Her lawyer Akhom Kongsawat said Ms Napapa denied the charge.

Police had given her until 9am on Monday to report to the NSB and acknowledge the charge, or face an arrest warrant, after sending her a second summons. She failed to report on Thursday last week, as required by the first summons.

The actress said after she was granted bail that she had no intention of ignoring the police order and promised full cooperation with investigators, with no plans to flee, Daily News Online reported.

NSB commander Pol Lt Gen Sommai Kongwisaisuk said Ms Napapa needs to convince the court that she was not aware of the origin of the money transferred to her bank account, Manager Online reported. However, police have evidence showing she was involved in transactions involving dirty money, he added.

-The Bangkok Post

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