Plans for Thai Maid to Inherit $3.7 Million in Assets From French Boss Hit a Snag

(Asian News Network) - A Thai maid was to inherit her late French boss’ assets worth as much as 100 million baht (S$3.7 million), including a villa-style hotel in Koh Samui.

But the plan was put on hold when the authorities found potential legal breaches after scrutinising the shareholding structure of her boss’ company GVNE, which owns the luxurious property, reported Bangkok Post.

Ms Catherine Delacote, 59, was found dead on April 29 in her Koh Samui villa in a suspected case of suicide. A gun was found at the scene.

The Nation reported that Ms Nutwalai Phupongta, who had worked for Ms Delacote for 17 years, was not at the villa when her boss was found dead on a bed beside the swimming pool. She rushed to the villa when she received a call from the pool cleaner.

When the police arrived at the scene, the 49-year-old maid showed them a message sent by her late boss on messaging app Line.

Ms Delacote reportedly stated in the message that she would bequeath to Ms Nutwalai her villa, 0.32ha of land beside the villa, a luxury car, some jewellery and cash.

She added that she would leave two other villas to her ex-husband, and asked Ms Nutwalai to look after her three kittens.

Ms Delacote also settled the internet and utility bills, paid the maid’s salary, and wired another 500,000 baht to the maid to cover funeral expenses.

The police do not suspect foul play so far, but investigative unit head Dusit Kaysornkaew said officials are checking if Ms Nutwalai could inherit the assets right away.

During their investigations, they learnt that Ms Delacote was the sole authorised director of GVNE, and held a 49 per cent stake in the company.

The other two shareholders are Thai nationals – a man with a 35 per cent stake and a woman with a 16 per cent stake.

In Thailand, foreigners are not allowed to own more than 49 per cent of a property.

The police are probing if Ms Delacote had used Thai proxies illegally in this case.

The Interior Ministry can sell a company’s assets if it is found to have included a Thai proxy illegally, Bangkok Post reported, citing lawyer and former politician Niphit Intharasombat,

Apart from this legal hurdle, Ms Nutwalai is also likely to need the consent of the two Thai shareholders before the assets can be transferred to her, Bangkok Post reported.

May 9, 2024


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