Move Forward Party (MFP) MP Rangsiman Rome says it is the job of a public authority to investigate 86 companies that have allegedly received money from the narcotics trade.
Mr Rangsiman was responding to a call by Senator Upakit Pachiriyangkun, who urged him on Monday to take action against the suspected firms. The senator submitted the list of companies to prosecutors earlier after finding himself in the line of fire.
During a general debate in the House of Representatives last month, Mr Rangsiman made similar allegations against an unnamed senator — presumed to be Sen Upakit, a long-time business partner of Myanmar tycoon Tun Min Latt.
The latter is facing trial in Thailand following his arrest last September on drug trafficking and money laundering charges. Some of that money is alleged to have been laundered through a business linked to the senator.
Mr Rangsiman claimed in the House that he had strong evidence — including the senator’s financial transactions, chat messages with a company linked to the illegal drug trade, and confessions from multiple suspects — to back his claim that the man took drug money as bribes.
Protesting his innocence, Sen Upakit said he wanted Mr Rangsiman to launch a broader investigation in the interests of fairness, rather than target him alone.
Mr Rangsiman said he was aware that Sen Upakit, 61, had submitted the list of names. He said the help of any senator would be welcome in such an investigation.
However, he cautioned that more evidence would be needed as the list alone is not sufficient.
After the general debate, the senator reported to the Narcotics Suppression Bureau on March 27 and denied colluding in money laundering and a related criminal charge. He was questioned by police and public prosecutors in line with Section 134 of the Criminal Code.
He was later charged with colluding in money laundering and involvement in a transnational criminal organisation while serving as a senator.
The senator was then fingerprinted. However, he was not named in a summons or any arrest warrant and was subsequently released.
He was instructed to report to police again on April 17 for further questioning.
On March 17, Sen Upakit held a news conference to counter Mr Rangsiman’s claims that he had ties to the narcotics trade.
The senator, who owned a hotel business in the Myanmar border town of Tachilek, admitted he knew Tun Min Latt through an electricity supply business but insisted he was not involved in any “grey” business with the accused.