Former PetroSaudi IT exec arrested on Samui
The Crime Suppression Division has arrested a former IT executive of the PetroSaudi International for having allegedly blackmailed and exposed secret information of his former company.
The arrest of Xavier Andre Justo was announced at the Royal Thai Police headquarters by Police Commissioner General Pol Gen Somyos Pumpanmuang at 1:30 pm Tuesday.
Somyos said Justo, a Swiss citizen, was charged with blackmailing the PetroSaudi International, for Bt90 million.
“Numerous computers, hard drives and other evidence were seized pursuant to a court ordered search warrant and the investigation is ongoing. Meanwhile PetroSaudi International is considering further legal action in other jurisdictions,” PetroSaudi said in a statement shortly after the arrest was announced.
Somyos said Justo had earlier been paid Bt140 million to leave the company after he violated certain rules of the company.
Justo later allegedly blackmailed the company, demanding Bt90 million more of compensation or else he would expose the company’s secret to its rivals, Somyos alleged.
The police chief said Justo later arranged a meeting with the company’s representative at a hotel in Bangkok but the company refused to give him the demanded sum.
The former IT executive later allegedly exposed the information linked to Malaysia’s troubled 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
Somyos said the PetroSaudi International filed a complaint with the CSD that conducted an investigation and sought an arrest warrant against Justo.
The CSD learned that he was staying with a friend on Koh Samui so police made the arrest.
Justo denied the blackmailing charge.
Somyos said the man would be prosecuted in Thailand before he would face extradition.
A spokesperson for PetroSaudi said “we are relieved that Mr Justo will now face justice through the courts. We have been the victims of a regrettable crime that has unfortunately been politicised in Malaysia. We are happy that the Courts will now address this matter, and we apologise to the Malaysian people for the harm caused to them.”