Krirkkiat Jalichandra, the former president of the defunct Bangkok Bank of Commerce, died of cancer on Saturday at age 63.A bathing rite will be held this afternoon at Wat Thatthong. His family has decided to keep the body for 100 days after the religious ceremony.
Krirkkiat had been sentenced to a total of 70 years in jail in at least seven different cases related to the looting of the BBC in the 1990s.
At the time of his death he had not exhausted all of the appeals against his sentences, with hearings postponed because of his worsening health problems.
In the most recent Appeal Court decision, in December last year, it upheld a sentence of 20 years in jail for embezzling 1.22 billion baht from the bank.
Bangkok Bank of Commerce came to symbolise the era of reckless and poorly supervised lending that helped lead to the economic crash of 1997 in Thailand.
Its collapse under the weight of US$3 billion in debts in 1995 preceded the failure of 56 other Thai financial institutions.
BBC stood out because it extended huge sums through dummy accounts to politicians and their proxies for property and stock speculation, corporate takeovers and other purposes.
Along with Krirkkiat, the other high-profile figure associated with BBC was the Indian-born financier Rakesh Saxena. Saxena fled Thailand in 1996 and spent the next 13 years fighting extradition from Canada.
Saxena claimed repeatedly that he feared for his life if he returned to Thailand because powerful individuals would try to silence him. He finally ran out of appeals in Canada in 2009 and was sent back to Thailand. he has been in custody ever since.
The South Bangkok Criminal Court on June 8 this year sentenced Saxena to 10 years in prison for embezzlement.
The lower court in April 2007 sentenced Krirkkiat and his two former deputies at the bank to 20 years in jail each. They were also ordered to pay 1.15 billion baht each in fines in addition to their joint liability to pay back 589.6 million baht to the bank.
The three were found guilty of embezzling 1.22 billion baht from the BBC in collusion with Saxena.
The Appeal Court in May 2011 upheld another 20-year jail term for the former BBC president in another BBC embezzlement case.
The Legal Execution Department this year retrieved about 500 million baht hidden in Switzerland by former BBC executives including Krirkkiat and Saxena.
The sum will go to the creditors of the bank. The department is also tracing embezzled money hidden in Canada.
To date, the department has also auctioned off BBC assets worth about 686 million baht, which would go to creditors, mostly financial institutions.