DSI hunts 2,400 members of 'Helmet Gang'

DSI hunts 2,400 members of 'Helmet Gang'

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) will seek court warrants for the arrest of some 2,400 people suspected of being involved in the country's biggest loan-shark network, deputy permanent secretary for justice Dusadee Arayawuthi said Tuesday.

Pol Col Dusadee said he would brief Justice Minister Suwaphan Tanyuvardhana next week on the progress of the DSI's investigation into the network, which was allegedly run by gang leader Wichai Panngam.

An arrest warrant is out for Mr Wichai, who is on the run and believed to be hiding overseas.

On Feb 5, the DSI, with support from police, military and local officials, impounded luxury houses and buildings on 800 rai of land worth about 400 million baht in tambon Tha Sung of Uthai Thani's Muang district. The land is believed to be linked to the Wichai network, known as the Helmet Gang.

Pol Col Dusadee said he would ask the DSI and police investigators to gather information on 80 to 90 illegal money-lending networks believed to be tied to Mr Wichai's network. This is a necessary prelude to applying for arrest warrants for about 2,400 people, including 156 state officials.

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