Sights set on 700 'influential figures'

Sights set on 700 'influential figures'

Deputy Interior Minister Chada Thaised
Deputy Interior Minister Chada Thaised

The Interior Ministry will launch its crackdown on "influential figures" nationwide starting on Dec 1, Deputy Interior Minister Chada Thaised said on Wednesday.

Mr Chada said the crackdown will be carried out as part of a joint operation among various authorities including provincial administrative organisations, subdistrict administrative organisations, police and armed forces.

The ministry has completed a list of about 700 influential figures and has called for inspections of their networks, he said.

The list of names is categorised by colour. "Red" means a group of influential figures who require an immediate and decisive crackdown, while "yellow" refers to groups that need close monitoring.

Mr Chada said the red list has less than 100 names, with the other 600 in the yellow group. He said people in the red group must be scrutinised and their networks disbanded within three months of the mission's kickoff on Dec 1.

Each province is also required to send a monthly report to the ministry.

Meanwhile, people in the yellow group will have to undergo investigation and monitoring. That work must be completed within six months and each province must submit a work progress report every two months, he said.

The crackdown will also rely on intelligence acquired by local authorities such as district chiefs, village chiefs, village committees, subdistrict physicians and the Volunteer Defence Corps.

The crackdown will prioritise those who are involved in drug trafficking and loan sharks, Mr Chada added.

The ministry has outlined 16 offences within the scope of an influential figure, such as operating a loan shark business, bidding price manipulation, public transport bribery, exploitation of entrepreneurs, tax evasion, operating a gambling ring, human trafficking and involvement in narcotics.

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