Court accepts revenue case against King Power

Passengers walk past a King Power duty-free shop at Suvarnabhumi airport. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The Criminal Court on Monday accepted a 14 billion baht lawsuit brought against duty-free giant King Power International.

The Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases in Bangkok said it had accepted the case, and would hear witnesses on Feb 12 next year.

Anti-graft official Charnchai Issarasenanark filed the suit in July against the duty-free retailer, which is owned by billionaire Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and his family.

It accuses King Power of criminally failing to pay the government 14 billion baht from the operation of the monopoly airport franchise it was granted in 2006.

The suit was also brought against executives from the state-owned airport operator, Airports of Thailand (AOT).

King Power and AOT were not immediately available for comment.

Self-made businessman Vichai founded King Power in 1989.

The duty-free business took off in 2006 when it was granted an airport monopoly under the government of then prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, but it continued to prosper even after Thaksin’s ouster in a coup that year.

Mr Vichai also owns English Premier League football club Leicester City, which he purchased in August 2010.

The family’s empire also includes Belgian football club Oud-Heverlee Leuven, Accor’s Pullman hotels in Thailand and a controlling stake in Asia Aviation Plc, operator of low-cost carrier Thai AirAsia. 

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