Lawyer Casts Doubt over Donations Made to Sean Buranahiran’s Wildfire Campaign

Social media influencer Sean Buranahiran received more than 30 million Baht in donations for his fundraising campaign to help put out wildfires in Chiang Mai earlier this year, according to lawyer Ronnarong Kaewpetch, the head of the Network of Campaigning for Justice (NCJ).

On Saturday, Mr Kaewpetch said he shared the information with Pak Kret police in Nonthaburi and asked them to help examine Mr Sean’s bank accounts and trace the donations. He said the bank accounts should be frozen if police find irregularities or illegal activities.

Mr Kaewpetch lodged a lawsuit against Sean on 30th June 2020, accusing him of “bringing false information into a computer system in such a way that it is likely to cause damage to the public” and receiving donations without prior permission from an official.

He claimed the money given by donors was never disbursed to the people the fund was raised for. He said he had donated 10 baht to one of Sean’s bank accounts to help extinguish wildfires in Chiang Mai. “Why does he not appear in public to take responsibility for this matter nor disclose the bank accounts that were used to receive donations?” Mr Kaewpetch asked.

Chiang Mai was experiencing wildfires earlier this year. Sean leveraged his online popularity and raised funds to help Muang district extinguish wildfires from 30th March to 1st May 2020.

Sean was criticised recently after he praised Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, who is disliked by many Thais for political reasons. He lost over 1 million social media followers within 24 hours. Unhappy netizens dug up his past and found that he had not disclosed the money he had raised for the Chiang Mai wildfire fund.