Senator has B285m frozen while assets probed

Senator has B285m frozen while assets probed

Senator Upakit Pachariyangkul
Senator Upakit Pachariyangkul

The Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) has confiscated assets of Senator Upakit Pachariyangkul worth 285 million baht in connection with his alleged involvement in a drugs ring and money laundering.

The office is also tracking at another sum in excess of 600 million baht which is believed to have been siphoned out of Thailand by the senator.

The majority of the seized assets were 29 plots of land with a combined value of 282 million baht, said Pol Lt Gen Phanurat Lakbun, an assistant national police chief who serves as acting ONCB secretary-general, on Wednesday.

Authorities are searching for more assets owned by the senator to verify whether they were obtained using income from drug smuggling and money laundering activities after it was found that additional assets worth more than 600 million baht, which may be linked to the senator, had stealthily been transferred to another country, said Pol Lt Gen Phanurat.

The ONCB is now seeking cooperation with other agencies, including the Office of the Attorney-General, in tracing these assets, he said.

A major challenge in the ongoing asset-recovering process is the burden of sorting out them into those connected to the drug rings and which were used for laundering money. 

On Nov 16, the committee tasked with inspecting assets believed to belong to Senator Upakit had resolved to temporarily freeze several assets for close inspection, said a source.

Among those assets, which he declared to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) upon becoming a senator, were the more than 500 million baht he has kept in several bank accounts, the source said.

The seizure of Senator Upakit’s assets began after he was found in a police investigation to have received 200,000 baht in a transaction made to his bank account by a female member of a drug gang who had been arrested, said Pol Lt Gen Phanurat.

The 200,000 baht was confiscated on Oct 25 last year, he said.

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