The opposition Democrat Party has denied its acting party leader, Chalermchai Sri-on, abetted in illegal pork imports when he was agriculture and cooperatives minister under the previous government.
"Mr Chalermchai has always taken a tough stand against smuggling and has no connection to the illegal network," Democrat spokesman Ramet Rattanachaweng on Saturday told the media.
The spokesman also dismissed a suggestion from critics that smuggling had thrived during Mr Chalermchai's term as agriculture minister under the previous Prayut Chan-o-cha administration.
"Mr Chalermchai has made it crystal clear that he never pocketed a single baht of ill-gotten gains from pork smuggling rackets," Mr Ramet said.
He added the party would proceed with legal action if any comments were found to be defamatory
The Democrat Party agreed with the government pledging to move swiftly to prosecute smugglers. However, words must be backed with action and sincerity to see the problem solved.
No smugglers can be spared and the law must be enforced justly, he added.
Mr Ramet said the government must dispel doubts surrounding last week's lightning transfer of Pol Maj Suriya Singhakamol, the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) director-general, to the position of deputy permanent secretary for justice.
The abrupt move came after Pol Maj Suriya led a search in connection with alleged smuggled pork at the headquarters of CP Axtra Plc, formerly Siam Makro, the operators of Makro cash-and-carry shops, in Suan Luang district on Monday.
"The government must explain [the transfer] and suppress the wrongdoers equally under the law," said the spokesman.
DSI acting chief Pol Maj Yutthana Praedam on Saturday joined investigators in questioning Boriboon La-orpaksin, an executive of the Sikhantin Trading Ltd and Smile Top K Enterprise Ltd, the firms accused of involvement in the racket.
Mr Boriboon said he made a time to see the investigators yesterday to reject the allegation. He said the firms imported a variety of foods for re-export to a neighbouring country.
In August last year, the companies imported 41 cargo containers. However, the Livestock Development Department has not issued permission to move the pork for re-export, a decision which the companies are challenging in the Administrative Court.
He added the department and the Customs Department had falsely labelled the companies as party to smuggling. The firms have also petitioned the Agriculture Ministry for justice.
Mr Boriboon claimed the companies' pork which was alleged to have been smuggled had been destroyed when it should have been kept as evidence for the Administrative Court.
"The danger has to do with the unquarantined, contraband pork being contaminated with enhancing agents," said Warawut Siripoon, the association deputy secretary-general.