'Tuhao' case report sent to prosecutors
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'Tuhao' case report sent to prosecutors

Chinese businessman Chaiyanat
Chinese businessman Chaiyanat "Tuhao" Kornchayanant, 40, in police custody on Nov 23, 2022. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)

Police forwarded their investigation report to prosecutors on Friday concerning a narcotics and money laundering case brought against businessman and suspected crime boss Chaiyanat "Tuhao" Kornchayanant and scores of other suspects.

Signed off by national police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas, the report comprises close to 27,000 pages including material pertaining to the confiscation of assets worth more 5.3 billion baht.

Pol Gen Damrongsak, who is in charge of the investigation, said the probe began after a raid on the Jin Ling pub in Bangkok on Oct 26 last year when illegal drugs and other pieces of evidence were seized for inspection and a number of suspects detained.

Afterward, the court approved a police request for an arrest warrant for Mr Chaiyanat, one of the prime suspects in the case.

He was later charged with money laundering and for his alleged involvement with a Chinese transnational criminal gang, said Pol Gen Damrongsak.

Pol Gen Damrongsak said 444 witnesses have been questioned and their statements were included in the report, which named 43 suspects -- 38 individuals and five legal entities.

Of the 38 suspects, 20 have been arrested while the other 18 are still at large, he said.

"I'm very confident the report contains solid evidence to prove all of the suspects guilty in court," Pol Gen Damrongsak added.

Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin said the seized assets include cars, land and buildings, money in bank accounts, cash and investment funds.

About 800 more assets worth around 3 billion baht that are suspected to be linked with the same suspects are being scrutinised by the ministry's assets confiscation committee, said the minister.

Former politician and massage parlour tycoon Chuvit Kamolvisit, who has supplied the police with tip-offs leading to the seizure of those assets in the Tuhao case, is among those who are entitled to receive a 5% share, said Mr Somsak.

Mr Chuvit, however, has refused to accept any reward and decided to donate it to charity, said the minister.

Commenting on reports about a company owned by a relative of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha that is suspected of having links with Mr Chaiyanat's illegal businesses, Mr Somsak said the police are continuing to investigate it.

Pol Gen Damrongsak said on Thursday that the PM's relative operated a coach rental business and owned 33 coaches that were found to have been used in Mr Chaiyanant's businesses in 2019, which was before Mr Chaiyanat was found to have been involved in the illegal drugs trade.

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