Multiple charges against 'Tuhao' and others
Attorney-general orders arraignment as investigations into Chinese 'grey businesses' continue
published : 19 Jan 2023 at 17:54
writer: Wassayos Ngamkham
The attorney-general has pressed multiple charges related to narcotics, organised transnational crime, money-laundering and more against Chinese businessman Chaiyanat “Tuhao” Kornchayanant and 40 others.
Attorney-General Naree Thanthasathian on Thursday ordered the Office of Narcotics Litigation to arraign Mr Chaiyanat and the other suspects at the Bangkok South Criminal Court, her office said.
The charges are severe narcotic offences, illegal narcotics sales, money-laundering, participation in a transnational criminal organisation, illegal possession of firearms and bullets, illegal operation of entertainment venues, and the employment and accommodation of illegal migrants.
The charges are based on the findings of a 332-page investigative report that police submitted to the Office of the Attorney General last Friday. National police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas supervised the investigation of the case, which has also involved the seizure of more than 5 billion baht worth of assets so far.
Mr Chaiyanat became a prime suspect after police on Oct 26 last year raided the Jinling Pub on Charoen Rat Road. Drug tests came up positive in 104 patrons, 99 of them Chinese nationals.
The alleged triad boss turned himself in on Nov 23 after the Bangkok South Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest for collusion in the drug trade and possession of narcotics with intent to sell.
While he denied all of the charges, the court denied him bail and he has been in custody ever since.
The raid on Jinling Pub followed a tip sent in by ex-politician and former massage parlour tycoon Chuvit Kamolvisit. Authorities armed with other material supplied by Mr Chuvit have since uncovered a vast web of illegal activities.
Mr Chuvit has alleged that money laundering by Chinese crime bosses is done through many “grey businesses” in the country and he continues to press for a broader crackdown.
Six police officers have been dismissed so far amid an investigation into their alleged involvement in Chinese gangs and the illicit drugs trade. One of them is Mr Chaiyanat’s wife, the niece of a former national police chief.
Investigations are continuing as well into the role of Immigration Bureau officials in arranging visas for hundreds of Chinese nationals, including some known criminals.