Around 700 people have been listed as "mafia"-affiliated figures in the government’s ongoing suppression of illegal activities linked with these influential people nationwide, according to Karom Polpornklang, a deputy government spokesman.
Compiled by the Ministry of Interior using tip-offs supplied by local authorities and members of the public, the list will be forwarded to a government committee tasked with suppressing their activities, said the spokesman.
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has stressed to the committee, and all other authorities taking part, the importance of ensuring the safety and confidentiality of the people who supply information about these people, said Mr Karom.
Mr Srettha also highlighted the necessity of creating a safe environment for prospective witnesses so that they feel confident and able to cooperate, said Mr Karom.
Those with information about mafia-like criminals may report it to the government via the 1111 mailbox of the government’s public compliant centre, the Damrong Tham centres operated by the Ministry of Interior nationwide and the Police Cyber Taskforce hotline 1599, he said.
The committee leading the suppression of unlawful influential people has outlined 16 illegal activities considered acts of mafia-style crime, said Mr Karom.
They are lending money at usually high rates of interest, committing price collusion in bidding to secure state contracts, unlawfully collecting commissions from drivers of passenger transport services, demanding tea money from business operators, smuggling illicit products, operating illegal casinos, procuring prostitutes, arranging or being involved in human trafficking, operating an illegal overseas job placement service, defrauding tourists, operating as hitmen or arranging for their hire, operating an unlawful and violent debt-collectors, selling and buying unregistered weapons and firearms, encroaching on public land or destroying natural resources, demanding bribes from motorists or truck drivers, and being involved in the sale of narcotics.
The campaign began in the wake of the high-profile killing of Pol Maj Sivakorn Saibua, a highway police officer, at a dinner party hosted on Sept 6 at the house of Praween "Kamnan Nok" Chankhlai, a former kamnan in Nakhon Pathom.
The former local leader who is now being treated by police as a key suspect in the murder case also operated a construction business that is currently being inspected by the authorities on suspicion of bid rigging.