A Chinese businessman dubbed "Tuhao" turned himself in to Bangkok police yesterday to answer allegations of involvement in the illicit drug trade.
Chaiyanat Kornchayanant was accompanied by a team of lawyers when he reported to deputy national police chief Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn at the Royal Thai Police Sports Club on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road around 1pm yesterday.
Mr Chaiyanat was wanted on an arrest warrant issued by the Bangkok South Criminal Court for collusion in the drug trade and for illegal possession of a psychotropic substance with the intent to sell. He denied the charges.
His surrender came after Pol Gen Surachate ordered searches at two locations in Bangkok yesterday morning -- a luxury house on Rama V Road and a luxury hotel in downtown Bangkok -- believed to be hideouts used by Mr Chaiyanat.
At the house, police found Mr Chaiyanat's wife, who is a Thai police colonel reported to be with the police's foreign affairs sub-division and a niece of a former senior police officer. Her name was not released.
She told the officers that her husband did not stay in the house. She tried to contact her husband to arrange his surrender.
There were no illegal items found in the house, it was reported. He was also not at the hotel.
On Oct 26, police stormed Jinling, which operated illegally as a nightclub in three adjacent buildings, on Charoen Rat Road in Yannawa district where 104 customers, 99 of them Chinese nationals, tested positive for drugs.
Mr Chaiyanat was reported to be the owner of the businesses in the complex.
The searches for Mr Chaiyanat yesterday followed former politician and massage parlour tycoon Chuwit Kamolvisit's calls on the Justice Ministry to investigate Chinese triads who he said were laundering drug money through "grey businesses" in Thailand.
Last week, he alleged that a triad boss named Tuhao had fled the country on a private plane with the assistance of certain state officials just hours after police raided the pub linked to him in Yannawa late last month.
Mr Chuwit on Monday submitted documents relating to the alleged financial activities of triads in Thailand.
Last month, an informed source said a probe may be launched into a 3 million baht donation to the Palang Pracharath Party made by Mr Chaiyanat.