Axe falls on six crack DSI teams
Six special investigation teams formed in mid-April to work under the Department of Special Investigation's Bureau of Financial, Banking and Money Laundering Crime unit have been disbanded, a DSI source said.
They were axed by Trairit Temahiwong, a deputy DSI chief now serving as the acting chief, and who originally approved their formation on April 16, according to the source.
The teams were formed in response to a request by a non-governmental organisation fighting money laundering.
The organisation, which was not named, wanted Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin to launch special investigations into businesses suspected of laundering money, the source said.
Before the six investigation teams were scrapped, one of them took part in a high-profile raid on an illegal casino in tambon Map Ta Phut of Rayong's Muang district last week.
The team's presence during the raid led to accusations it had overstepped its authority.
It was pointed out that another team specifically tasked with investigating large illegal casino and narcotics-related crimes should have been assigned to do the job.
The other five teams were responsible for investigating alleged misconduct by Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET)-listed companies; misconduct allegedly carried out by factories resulting in damage to or destruction of the environment and public health; factories producing substandard cosmetics or dietary supplements; land encroachment and unlawful land title deeds; and alleged acts of price collusion involving state projects.