Police raid MBI Group company

Authorities seized foreign currencies worth more than 83 million baht from a leading foreign company in Songkhla's Sadao district during a crackdown on foreign mafia gangs yesterday.

A combined team of authorities yesterday raided MBI Group, in tambon Samnaktham of Sadao district, said the Special Task Force's chief Col Paisan Nusung who led the crackdown yesterday.

An initial investigation also found the MBI Group has many subsidiary companies and was suspected of carrying out money laundering activities, police said.

The company has run six hotels, nine apartments, two resorts and several tourist spots including animal farms in Sadao district, with an investment value of 2 billion baht, according to police.

A Malaysian national serves as a managing director, while Nunthapak Panuwattanakul and Nopparoj Siripattanathanapak serve on the board of directors which runs the company's business in Sadao district, police said.  

Police raided an MBI Group company premises, the Wai Hotel in Moo 7 of Sadao district, seizing the Thai and foreign currency haul, police said. The money was kept in a room on the hotel's fourth floor, police said.

Police are seeking help from the Department of Special Investigation and the Anti-Money Laundering Office to launch a probe against the MBI Group's business and track the money trail, Col Paisan said.

Located in tambon Samnaktham, KPK Hotel serves as a meeting point for local high-ranking authorities, according to a source from the Internal Security Operations Command Region 4.

MBI Group is believed to be linked to the death of a Malaysian land developer, Lee Ah Han, who was gunned down in Hat Yai last month, police said.

Lee was an influential figure in Songkhla building an intricate web of contacts with police, state officials and villagers, and jointly ran a hotel belonging to the MBI Group in Sadao district.

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Writer:  Witchayan Boonchote