Cops will seek to extend Tuhao's wife's detention

Cops will seek to extend Tuhao's wife's detention

Police will ask the court to extend the detention of the wife of Chinese businessman and suspected crime boss Chaiyanat "Tuhao" Kornchayanant for further questioning.

Pol Col Wanthanaree Kornchayanant -- who is an officer attached to the foreign affairs sub-division of the Royal Thai Police -- was among eight people who were arrested on Saturday over their alleged involvement in "grey businesses" linked to Mr Chaiyanat.

The Metropolitan Police Bureau's (MPB) chief of investigations, Pol Maj Gen Theeradet Thamsuthee, said Pol Col Wanthanaree has been charged with money laundering and is currently being questioned by police and public prosecutors.

He said the police will ask Bangkok South Criminal Court to extend her detention further and reject her bail request.

Pol Col Wanthanaree -- who is a niece of Pol Gen Pracha Promnok, a former national police chief who served as a deputy prime minister in Yingluck Shinawatra's cabinet -- was arrested at a condominium in Bangkok's Charoen Krung neighbourhood.

Out of the eight suspects arrested on Saturday, five people including Pol Col Wanthanaree were charged with money-laundering.

The rest, identified as Patcharin Itthiwattana, Sitthipong Thue-satthiang and Sitthipaiboon Khamnin, face multiple charges, including aiding in drug trafficking, money-laundering and being associated with transnational criminal activities.

National police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas said on Sunday the case also falls under the jurisdiction of the Office of Attorney General (OAG) because it involves transnational criminal activities.

Pol Gen Damrongsak said the Department of Investigation (DSI) will have to ask the OAG's permission if the agency wants to take part in the investigation.

Mr Chaiyanat has been in police custody since Nov 23 when he turned himself in to deputy national police chief Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn.

He was wanted for collusion in the illicit drug trade and illegal possession of a psychotropic substance with intent to sell. He denied all charges, but the court denied his release on bail, ruling him a flight risk.


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