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​Bangkok Airways CEO resigns amid stock manipulation sanctions

The chief executive of Bangkok Airways has resigned his positions in the company following official sanctions that he was involved in a conspiracy to manipulate company stock.

In a statement, the airline says that Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth has relinquished his posts as director, vice chairman, chairman of the executive management committee and chief executive officer. Narumon Chainaknan, executive secretary to the chief executive’s office, has also stepped down.

A statement from the Securities Exchange Commission claims that Prasarttong-Osoth, his daughter Poramaporn Prasarttong-Osoth, and Chainaknan conspired to manipulate the company’s shares through order matching from 13 November 2015 to 12 January 2016.

The SEC has imposed a fine of Bt499 million ($15.7 million). In addition, Thai security laws requires that they vacate their positions.

The SEC claims that they concealed their activities “to mislead the public regarding the share price and trading volume of BA. Consequently, the Bangkok Airways price and trading volume became inconsistent with normal market conditions.”

Share price data indicates that the Bangkok Airways stock rose from Bt20.50 in mid-November 2015 to Bt25 in mid-January 2016. The company was listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand in November 2014.

The Bangkok Airways statement adds that the three individuals protest the allegations, and will “prove their innocence in this matter through the justice system.”

Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth, aged 85, also owns Thailand’s largest private healthcare group, Bangkok Dusit Medical Services, from which he has also resigned following the Bangkok Airways stock allegations. Forbes estimates his net worth at $3.1 billion, making him the eighth richest man in Thailand.

Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth is the father of Bangkok Airways president Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth, who runs the carrier on a day-to-day basis.

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