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Canada NRI, Rakesh Saxena extradite to Thailand for embezzled $88 million from the Bangkok Bank

Vancouver, Nov. 03, 2009
Dalbir Sahota
NRI press

NRI, (non-resident Indian) Rakesh Saxena, 57, a fugitive former adviser to a Thai bank, who had staged one of the longest extradition battles in Canadian history to avoid being sent back to face charges he helped embezzle $88 million from the Bangkok Bank of Commerce, which collapsed in 1995. The bank had about $3 billion in bad debt when it was shut down.

He arrived Friday night in Bangkok after his extradition from Canada.


NRI, Rakesh Saxena and the Spiderweb of Crooks, Arms Dealers, Mercenaries, Politicians

Gaborone/Botswana/Africa, April 14, 2006
Dr. Alexander von Paleske

Rakesh Saxena is fighting his extradition from Canada to Thailand for ten years now. Let's have a look at the spiderweb, of which he is part of.

First to mention is a veteran of arms and shady deals, a close friend of the bin Laden family for decades, an uncle of the late Dodi Fayed, the last partner of Diana Princess of Wales and brother-in-law of the owner of Harrod's Supermarket in London, Al Fayed, his name: Adnan Khashoggi, once called the richest man on earth....Full Story

NRI, Rakesh Saxena in Canada is MOST WANTED man BY THAILAND Govt.
He engineered the disappearance of more than $ 300 million from Thailand


Vancouver, Aug 20, 2005
Dalbir Sahota
NRI press

NRI, (non-resident Indian) Rakesh Saxena is accused of helping bring down a Bangkok bank and triggering the fall of the baht and the collapse of the Thai economy. Thai authorities want to extradite him from Canada. Rakesh Saxena was charged in Thailand with looting $73.5 million from the Bangkok Bank of Commerce.

He will appear before the British Columbia Court of Appeal on September 26, 2005, according to Department of Justice spokeswoman Lye Canton. Saxena has said that, if freed, he would apply for residency in Canada. Rakesh Saxena was a treasurer adviser for the bank when Thai authorities charged him in May 1996 with setting up phony loans to syphon millions from the bank. Thai police issued an arrest warrant for him in June 1996

Saxena's strategy was sufficiently simple; He would identify stagnant Thai companies that traded publicly, find their buyers, then pump up their balance sheets while slimming assets and staff that were not needed, finally reselling those frims on making profit. In 1993 and 1994, Krirkkiat, Saxena and their bankers launched a takeover bid for targets such as Morakot Industries, a major cooking oil producer, Jalaprathan Cement, Semiconductor Venture International and Phoenix Pulp and Paper. In total, 15 companies were attacked.

July 1995, within a three day period, Saxena transferred more than $80 milion around the world ignoring banking regulations. In this affair, he colllaborated with Oleg Boiko, a flamboyant Russian businessman; the two owned a New York brokerage firm. At that time Boiko managed the Moscow National Credit Bank. July 7, the US Dollar account number 001-6-10050 was opened at the BBC under the name National Credit Bank.

In days to follow Saxena produced a bill of exchange guaranteed by the National Credit Bank under the name Essex Corporate and Finance, a paper company registered in the British Cayman Islands controlled by Saxena. His BBC colleagues applied the standard discount and received the bill of exchange as collateral. All the BBC internal usage documents interpolated the seal "extremely urgent". In less than a week, $80 million was credited to a National Credit Bank account. June 11 1995, all the money was withdrawn and the National Credit Bank account was closed. The loan was not honoured, according to the bank, the registered bill of exchange was valueless and the National Credit Bank is now collapsed.

Warrant lapses, Saxena asks for freedom

Saturday, August 13, 2005
David Baines
Vancouver Su

Time may have run out for Canadian justice department officials who have been trying for the past decade to have financial fugitive Rakesh Saxena extradited to Thailand to answer charges that he embezzled $88 million from the Bangkok Bank of Commerce.

The warrant for Saxena's arrest -- which formed the basis for his extradition proceeding -- contained a 10-year limitation clause.

On June 20 this year, the limitation period quietly expired, a development that Saxena views as a get-out-of-jail-free card.

"The warrant that started the whole proceeding has expired," he said in an interview Friday from his Richmond residence, where he is under house arrest. "On that basis alone, the extradition proceeding should be quashed."

Since he was arrested by the RCMP in July 1996, Saxena has thrown up every possible legal objection to his extradition, including a claim that he would be murdered by Thai authorities if he was returned to that country.

There have also been lengthy delays at the judicial and ministerial levels.

Saxena's original extradition hearing was the longest in Canadian history and, even after the presiding judge ruled there were grounds to extradite him, it took the federal justice minister more than three years to order his return to Thailand.

Saxena has appealed both the ministerial and judicial decisions. The B.C. Court of Appeal is scheduled to hear both matters starting Sept. 26.

Saxena -- who has been implicated in a series of dubious stock schemes and a counter-coup in Sierra Leone while under house arrest in Vancouver -- says he is confident he will win the appeal. And if he does, he says he will apply for Canadian residency. "I'd like to stay here," he said.

But federal prosecutor Roger McMeans has other ideas. "I can tell you that all the matters he is raising will be fully canvassed in argument before the court of appeal," he said Friday.

Friday was a Thai national holiday, so Thai consular officials could not be reached for comment.

Saxena's troubles began in May 1996, when Thai authorities charged Saxena, who had been working as treasurer adviser for the Bangkok Bank of Commerce, with setting up a series of phoney loans to siphon millions from the bank.

Thai police issued a warrant for his arrest on June 5, 1996. The following month, RCMP officers -- acting at the behest of the Thai government -- arrested him in Whistler and hustled him off to jail.

Saxena argues that the warrant, because it was issued by Thai police rather than a judge, is not legally valid in Canada.

Saxena was released on bail, but that bail was revoked in January 1998 after he allegedly tried to obtain a phoney passport and threatened a witness.

Several months later, he persuaded then-B .C. Supreme Court judge Wally Oppal (now B.C.'s attorney general) to allow him to move into a luxury False Creek condo, where he would be guarded by private security guards at his own expense. RCMP officers "visibly bristled" at the decision, according to a Vancouver Sun report.

His extradition hearing began in October 1996 before B.C. Supreme Court judge Frank Maczko. Four years later, after what Maczko described as the longest and most difficult extradition case in Canadian history, the judge determined there were grounds to return Saxena to Thailand. Now it was up to the federal justice minister to order his extradition.

Meanwhile, the Thai government revised its constitution to invalidate all warrants that were not issued by a judge, effective 2002. While the federal justice minister was pondering his decision, the effective date passed. "So technically, they can't arrest me if I land in Thailand today," Saxena contends.

In November 2003 -- more than three years after Maczko's decision -- then-federal justice minister Martin Cauchon ordered Saxena to surrender to Thai authorities. "There is a compelling case against Mr. Saxena," the minister said at the time.

Saxena acknowledges that the Canadian public will probably interpret his attempts to defeat the government's extradition efforts as stall tactics.

"The general perception is that I have dragged the case out. That's what the MPs will say. But that's like a fairy tale you tell your kids when they go to sleep. I say Canada has held me illegally for 10 years. This whole case is a fraud.

"I'm not mincing any words here. Most Canadians are ignorant about how things work in the third world. They turn a blind eye to the corruption. If they don't know the facts, they should shut up."

In any event, he said, "I don't understand why the Canadian public is worried. I have not committed a crime in Canada, and I'm not costing them a cent."

However, Saxena has became involved in several schemes to promote dubious stocks on the perilous OTC Bulletin Board and the even more risky "pink sheets" in the United States. Most of these ventures have ended badly for investors.

In June, the Sun reported that, from 2001 to 2003, Saxena arranged for overseas boiler room operators, some with prior criminal records, to sell shares of essentially worthless companies to investors, most located in the United Kingdom.

Investors were told to send their money "in trust" to Martin & Associates, a Vancouver law firm. According to a forensic report filed in B.C. Supreme Court, investors sent $18.4 million to the law firm, most of which was distributed to third parties on Saxena's instructions.

In many cases, investors did not get their shares. In other cases, investors got their shares only to discover they were not listed on any exchange or had virtually no value.

In October 2003, after receiving complaints from investors, the B.C. Law Society took over the law practice. In July 2004, the two principals, Jack Martin and Craig Iwata, admitted to numerous trust account irregularities and agreed not to reapply to practise law for 10 years.

Saxena, while admitting he helped organize the scheme, insists he was strictly an intermediary and not party to any of the contractual arrangements. "It's a thin red line, I grant you, but it's still a red line."

But these sorts of activities, including a counter-coup attempt in Sierra Leone which he plotted while under arrest in Vancouver, have generated reams of adverse publicity for Canada.

Several days ago, the Botswana Sunday Standard described Saxena as a "financial regulators' worst nightmare" and accused him of orchestrating a stock scheme that "threatens investors' confidence in Botswana" while under house arrest in Canada.

Sep 1999
A P Kamath

Invoking Buddha, Rakesh Saxena's Lawyer Tries To Keep Him Away From 'Lynching' Mob In Thailand

Russ Chamberlain, the flamboyant Vancouver attorney, is well-known for handling high profile cases.

But Rakesh Saxena, Chamberlain's most controversial client, towers abovethe likes of Johal. For the 48-year-old trader reportedly embezzled $ 88 million from the Bangkok Bank of Commerce, triggering the fall of the baht and the collapse of the Thai economy.

Chamberlain is working overtime to make sure that his client is not extradited to Thailand. Saxena has said he fears he will be lynched in Thailand as the government wants to make him the fall guy for the failures of its bankers and politicians.

This week, Chamberlain invoked Buddha in telling the Supreme Court in Vancouver that the affidavits of Thai witnesses are not valid because the witnesses were not sworn before Buddha as the law in Thailand requires.

Chamberlain told the court on Monday that the new affidavits the Thai government is offering should also be invalidated. The Thai government says the new affidavits will confirm that the original witness statements were taken under proper oath, but the attorney is not convinced.

Saxena, who fled Thailand just as the Asian crisis was unwrapping, was arrested in Canada four years ago, He has been fighting his extradition since then, living in a highly wired apartment that cost him nearly Canadian $ 500,000 He spends over $ 45,000 a month for security guards who accompany him to the court and to his lawyer.

Chamberlain is questioning the validity of the documents in Supreme Court Justice Frank Macsko's court.

Saxena is accused of siphoning $ 88 million to the City Trading Corporation in the Cayman Islands, but he rejects the charge that he and his friends owned CTC. On the other hand, he asserts it was controlled by the Bangkok Bank of Commerce which made the loan, but the loan never left the bank The bank, he claims, was trying to hide its own chaos and was avoiding a bankruptcy situation. While it hoped the economy would bounce back, just the opposite happened, Saxena says.

Though Saxena is out on bail, the court has put severe restrictions on his movement; he is electronically monitored, and since he is ordered to stay away from alcohol, there are surprise sobriety tests he must take.

Bangkok newspapers have published reports linking many Thai politicians to the scandal, and Saxena says he feels he would be killed to maintain his silence.

Bangkok newspapers alleged that Saxena identified ailing Thai companies, start investing in them, got them reorganized and helped sell them for substantial profits.

The news accounts paint him as a scheming, relentlessly ambitious man who began pilfering the Bangkok Bank in a big way in 1995. There are suggestions he engineered the disappearance of more than $ 300 million from Thailand into the accounts held by him and his friends.

When the bill of exchange for the $ 88 million loan was found useless, banks collapsed, Thai newspapers say and the confidence in the baht was shaken. The financial crisis not only hit Thailand but a number of Asian countries.

He settled down in Thailand in 1985 when that country was going through a big boom and endeared himself to publishers, bankers and politicians there.


Aug 01, 1999
THE ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED Police officers bristled visibly in the heavily guarded Vancouver court when the controversial ruling was handed down. Thousands of kilometers away in Bangkok, their counterparts in the Royal Thai Police would express outrage and disbelief. Justice Wally Oppal of the British Columbia Supreme Court had just allowed Thailand's most wanted man, Rakesh Saxena, to continue fighting extradition to Bangkok from the comfort of his luxury Vancouver condominium - watched by his own guards. Saxena's exuberant lawyer Russ Chamberlain turned to his India-born client and cautioned: "Don't smile too much. There will be no dancing ladies, but there will be mother's cooking." Saxena, clad in a navy golf shirt, grinned in the prisoner's box surrounded on three sides by bullet-proof glass and scrutinized by sheriffs. He was adamant he would not voluntarily return to Thailand. "I'm afraid with good reason that I will be killed extra-judicially should I set foot in Thailand," he told the court.
The June 24 ruling, the first of its kind in Canada, overturned a February decision to revoke Saxena's bail because he was a flight risk. At the time, Saxena languished in the spartan segregation unit of the city's remand center. Months of incarceration had rendered the stocky, hard-drinking, gregarious braggart into a surly, sober, 1.6-meter lightweight. "Someone should try living like this," Saxena complained. He had only a cot and a small coffee table in his cell. "To turn on the lights you have to call for the guard who may or may not be there," he said. He wasn't given even a pencil, pen or pad.

Today Saxena lives in Suite 206-1600 Hornby Street, his spacious $500,000 condo in Yacht Harbour Pointe, overlooking expensive pleasure craft moored in False Creek. To keep him from wandering, his lawyer's firm has hired Intercon Security at $27,000 a month.

Rakesh Saxena was charged in Thailand with looting $73.5 million from the Bangkok Bank of Commerce.

NRI Indore-born Saxena, who has a master's degree in English from St Stephen's college in Delhi, chased financial dreams, working in Hong Kong, Europe and Sierra Leone where he had stakes in the diamond and mineral mines