'Tuhao' refused bail as police build case

'Tuhao' refused bail as police build case


Police expect to wrap up their case against the Chinese businessman and alleged triad leader known as "Tuhao", who is accused of being involved in the illicit drug trade, within three weeks.

Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn said yesterday that Chaiyanat Kornchayanant, alias "Tuhao", continued to deny all charges or make a statement during police questioning on Wednesday night.

Mr Chaiyanat had the right to reserve his defence for the court, but police had clear evidence against him and would oppose court bail, the deputy national police chief said.

Yannawa police took Mr Chaiyanat to Bangkok South Criminal Court yesterday and applied to detain him for a further 12 days. The court approved the police request and later refused an application for his release on bail, deeming him a flight risk. His lawyer reportedly offered a surety of 5 million baht. Mr Chaiyanat was taken to the Central Correctional Institute for Drug Addicts.

"Investigators would follow the money trail and seize Mr Chaiyanat's assets. We would step up the investigation and expect to wrap it up within three weeks," he said.

All details of the case would be made public, and the investigation would be extended to include other Chinese gangs involved in "grey businesses" in Thailand, Pol Gen Surachate said.

Mr Chaiyanat was accompanied by his lawyers when he reported to Pol Gen Surachate at the Royal Thai Police Sports Club on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road in Bangkok on Wednesday.

The Chinese businessman was wanted on an arrest warrant issued by the Bangkok South Criminal Court for alleged collusion in the illicit drug trade and illegal possession of a psychotropic substance with intent to sell.

Earlier on Wednesday, police made searches at two locations in Bangkok -- a 200-million-baht mansion on Rama V Road and a luxury hotel in downtown Bangkok -- believed to be used by Mr Chaiyanat.

At the house, police found only Mr Chaiyanat's wife, who is a police colonel in the foreign affairs sub-division and niece of a former senior policeman and deputy prime minister, according to Pol Gen Surachate. Her name was not released. Police found nothing illegal at either location.

Investigators will call Mr Chaiyanat's wife in for questioning about whether she had any part in her husband's alleged activities, said Pol Gen Surachate. She would not be spared if found to be involved in anything illegal.

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