Leicester vice-chairman denies King Power tax claims as case proceeds

Leicester City Football Club's owners have said they "categorically deny" a report that they owe £323m to the Thai government.

The issue arrives from the monopoly held by King Power in 2006 over duty free shops in airports in Thailand - and is now a civil case being considered in criminal court; though that could easily change. As a result, the company is accused of failing to pay the Thai government US$ 422 million.

Vichai started King Power with a single shop in Bangkok in 1989, and has since built an estimated fortune of £2.2bn through his duty-free empire.

The action against Srivaddhanaprabha - who is reportedly worth around $4.9 billion - and his family was initially filed in July.

Worth an estimated £3.7 billion, Vichai bought Leicester, whose fairy-tale Premier League title win a year ago is widely regarded as one of the great sporting triumphs, in 2010.

The Thai Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct confirmed overnight that the case had been accepted and the trial will begin in Bangkok on February 12. King Power responded saying they would fervently defend any case brought to trial. "We are proud of our company's good name and honest reputation", he added.

"The allegations in question...are categorically denied", Srivaddhanaprabha's son Aiyawatt, a King Power chief executive, said in a statement.

'King Power has always followed and been absolutely committed to the highest standards in proper and ethical business practice.

Vanessa Coleman

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