To What Level Does ‘Deloitte’ Involve in Thai Market’s Biggest Fraud Scandal

The scandal of Thailand’s Stark Corporation Public Company Limited (SET: STARK) is one of, if not, the biggest frauds in the financial market history with the damage of over 13,000 million baht to share and bond holders.

Under a new CEO at the helm, STARK signed a contract in late April for Deloitte Advisory’s forensic service to investigate the whole rotting financial network in the company that was audited by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Jaiyos Audit during the occurrence of fraud, both are subsidiaries of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Jaiyos Co. Ltd., the main operator of Deloitte in Thailand.

However, STARK received a notice of service termination by Deloitte Advisory on July 25 due to significant changes during the period of service that led to the company no longer being able to provide service to STARK.

This has raised questions over the intention of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Jaiyos Advisory, known as Deloitte Advisory, on the sudden termination of forensic services as some believed that the investigation could lead to something bigger than just ‘Deloitte Audit’.

There are also reports that showed one of STARK’s former independent director and remuneration committee member, Mr. Niti Jungnitnirundr, used to serve as Audit Partner and Director of the Auditing Office in Deloitte Audit (1996-2018), and also an audit member and independent director of Phelps Dodge International (Thailand) Limited during his time as director in STARK as well.

The incident of high level scandal among executives in STARK raised concerns in the market over the professionalism of Deloitte as well as reliability on the audit firm and responsibility on the advisory firm who pulled out from the forensic investigation.