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A judge dismisses Benz Racing’s doping case

A judge dismisses Benz Racing's doping case

The case against “Benz Racing” aka Akarakit Worarojcharoendet, who was charged with narcotics trafficking in 2017, was dismissed by the Supreme Court on Tuesday. On Tuesday night, the ex-motor racer was allowed to leave jail.

On May 26, 2017, prosecutors filed a complaint at the Criminal Court on Ratchadaphisek Road accusing Akarakit, 36, and a couple named Sansern Rasanont, 41, and Angsuporn Ina, 35, of conspiring to traffic drugs and launder money.

The three people were accused of obtaining, having, and transporting drugs, together with other drug dealers including Nattapon Nakkham, according to the prosecution. They were charged with overseeing the money matters for Nattapon’s drug distribution system.

Investigators reportedly seized 19 kilograms of crystal meth and 140,000 methamphetamine pills on November 26, 2016. Nattapon was discovered to have made 53 transfers totaling 11.07 million baht to the accounts of the three accused.

While two others only admitted to a charge of money laundering, Akarakit, the former husband of the actress Napapa “Patt” Tantrakul, rejected all charges.

The couple and Akarakit were each given a 400,000 baht fine and 24 years in prison on the identical charges by the lower court on September 7, 2018.

However, the Appeal Court dramatically increased Akarakit’s prison term to 36 years and 8 months along with a 3.3 million baht fine. The court kept the fine at 400,000 baht while reducing the couple’s sentence to 22 years and 6 months in prison.

The Supreme Court received an appeal from only Akarakit.

Despite statements from the narcotic suppression head and other relevant police officers regarding Akarakit’s link to the drug trade, the court apparently decided that other defendants did not bring up his role in their testimony.

Due to suspicion regarding the evidence establishing Akarakit’s coordination with other defendants in drug-related matters, the court then granted Akarakit the benefit of the doubt.

However, the Appeal Court’s decision to sentence Akarakit to three years and four months in prison in a case involving money laundering stood.

According to the source, Akarakit was released from the Central Correctional Institution for Drug Addicts on Tuesday night after serving almost four years in prison.


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