Cops seize B3bn in assets from 'Tuhao'

Cops seize B3bn in assets from 'Tuhao'

Authorities have seized a luxury resort and cars worth about 3 billion baht from alleged Chinese triad boss Chaiyanat "Tuhao" Kornchayanant, who is accused of involvement in the drug trade.

Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin yesterday revealed the progress of the operation to freeze assets belonging to Mr Chaiyanat in response to a request by former politician and massage parlour tycoon Chuvit Kamolvisit.

Mr Somsak said the operation team led by Pongsathon Inamnuay, chief of the anti-narcotics centre of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), seized land plots and structures of Divaluk Resort & Spa Resort Co in Bang Sao Thong district of Samut Prakan linked to Mr Tuhao, who was named its shareholder.

There were five land plots covering 39 rai and nine buildings with 375 guest rooms in the resort compound. The task force also confiscated nine luxury cars, including a 17-million-baht Bentley Continental GT and a Toyota Alphard.

The assets seized were worth 3.02 billion baht, said Mr Somsak. He thanked the Department of Land and the Department of Land Transport for their cooperation.

Mr Somsak said the Divalux Resort and Spa was founded in 2016 with a 50-million-baht company registration. The three shareholders were listed as Mr Chaiyanat, Patcharin Ittiwattana, his alleged close aide and Thai nominee, and Rattana Ittiwattana. The names were later changed to Ms Patcharin and two of her partners. Mr Chaiyanat was not on the shareholder list.

Mr Somsak said this round of asset seizures was different from the assets worth 1.13 billion baht seized earlier by the Office of the Narcotics Control Board. The ministry made the announcement on Thursday.

Authorities are gathering more evidence to trace the remaining assets of Mr Chaiyanat, he said.

He insisted drug-related cases are also considered money laundering offences despite the charge not being pressed against the suspect yet.

Meanwhile, Mr Chuvit requested the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) hurriedly take charge of the investigation into the shady businesses run by Chinese nationals in Thailand.

He described it as a transnational case because those seized batches of illicit drugs in the Jinling pub were smuggled from China, meaning local police in Yannawa station don't have jurisdiction.

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