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Bangkok Post
Bangkok Post

MORE president resigns amid trading probe

Mr Ummarit informed the Stock Exchange of Thailand of his resignation.

Ummarit Klomchitcharoen, president and chief executive of More Return (MORE), on Monday informed the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) of his resignation after being accused of manipulating the company's share price, along with 17 others, in November last year.

Last Friday the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it had filed a complaint with the Economic Crime Suppression Division (ECD) against 18 alleged offenders for manipulating the price or trading volume of MORE shares between Nov 10-11. The SEC's accusation is just the start of the criminal law enforcement process.

In a filing to the SET, MORE's secretary Kanokwan Boonprakob reported the resignation of the company's president and chief executive on Friday night, as Mr Ummarit wanted to enter the investigation process to prove his stance following the SEC's accusation. The company said his resignation would not affect its business operations.

The nomination and remuneration committee will consider the selection of qualified persons to fill the vacant positions. The selection will be proposed to the company's board of directors for approval and the SET will be informed, Ms Kanokwan said.

The SEC said it had filed a complaint to the ECD against Apimuk Bamrongwong, Akapat Phornprapha, Atipat Phornprapha, Orapin Phornprapha, Prayoon Abakan, Vasant Chawla, Shubhodeep Prasanta Das, Tong Hua Capital Co, Tong Hua Media Lab Co, Somnuk Kyavatanakij, Jirawan Chaipongpati, Puntharee Israngkul Na Ayudthaya, Ailada Chinnavat, Susiri Preedasuttichit, Itthiwat Wannaiampikul, Munkong Sathienthirakul, Sophon Waraporn, and Mr Ummarit.

The SEC received information from the SET regarding the case of MORE securities trading by a group of people who may be subject to price manipulation and information from the ECD, in the case of 10 securities companies filing a complaint to prosecute several individuals for fraudulence, corruption and fraud by receiving money for securities trading from securities companies. That has caused damage to the securities companies and misled the general public about the price or trading volume of MORE securities, said the SEC's statement.

After coordination with investigators including the Central Investigation Bureau and ECD to obtain facts and evidence, the authorities found that all 18 offenders were related to each other in terms of personal relationships, money transfers and securities trading, including channels and places to send trading orders.

"They had divided duties for trading MORE securities on Nov 10, 2022, by sending orders that are matched in large volumes, causing the opening price of MORE securities to be higher than the closing price of the previous day, which misled the public about the price or trading volume of MORE securities," said the SEC.

Such an act violates Section 244/3 (1) in conjunction with Section 244/5 and Section 244/6 of the Securities and Exchange Act 1992. The office thus filed complaints against the 18 individuals to the ECD for further legal action, the SEC added.

At the same time, the SEC has reported such actions to the Anti-Money Laundering Office for further action. Such offences are unfair actions relating to the trading of securities and futures contracts, which is a predicate offence under the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

The SEC has coordinated with other regulators in accordance with its policy to proactively investigate wrongdoing in the capital market to enhance the efficiency of law enforcement, its statement noted.

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