Connect with us

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Former Thammasat professor blames partnership between officials and leaders for 2nd wave

Tanutam Thawan



A former Thammasat University lecturer is claiming that the current surge in new infections of Covid-19 in Thailand is a result of the so-called “Covid mafia” which he defines as corrupt officials working closely with local influential figures to carry out illegal activities.

Kaewsan Atipothi claimed that these alleged co-operative actions between leaders has enabled illegal gambling and human trafficking gangs, who are responsible for smuggling migrant workers and Thais from Myanmar back into the country. He more specifically mentions the smuggling of migrant workers from Myanmar into Samut Sakhon province, which was the hotspot area that kicked off the current surge of infections.

He also named the Burmese casinos bordering Thailand’s west and north, and the illegal gambling empire in the eastern provinces, along with Samut Sakhon, as the 3 hotspots in the current wave of Covid, as they were “under the control of a mafia network”.

“As we were concentrating on containing the disease at Suvarnabhumi international airport, the contagion has already entered our home.”

“This crisis would not have happened in the first place, if there had not been mafia-controlled illegal gambling dens or human trafficking gangs.”

He explained that “an influential figure in Rayong province has managed to buy the entire police force, be it the local police and the Bangkok police, including the Crime Suppression Division, by dealing with just one group of state officials.”

“When you can buy total power, the business operator or the mafia boss will feel stable enough to invest heavily (in illegal gambling activities), to the point that Rayong has been labelled “Thailand’s Macau” and it has expanded to Chanthaburi and Chon Buri provinces.”

Kaewsan says he also “didn’t expect that the police will ever be reformed under the present government, and there is no real opposition in the parliament either, but only the vengeful group of politicians and another group bent on toppling the Monarchy.”

As for the initial wave of Covid-19 that started in February 2020, he blames globalisation and Thailand’s “close contact with the international community.”

SOURCE: Thai PBS World


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.



  1. Avatar


    Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 2:49 pm

    There is nothing new in the article.The “feudal system” working for many years and there are no desire to change it.The forces who can change it are part of the system and have enormous benefits form the status quo.

    • Avatar


      Monday, January 11, 2021 at 9:55 am

      Yes. The definition of ‘ corruption top to bottom ” is Thailand. Put in the dictionary

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 3:19 pm

    Thai morality will not deter them from making money from illegal activities.
    They want cheap labour, fine the Burmese are smuggled in and the immigration and police are paid off. When this labour is found to have the virus, some are dumped by the side of the road!
    The only matter the Thais are concerned with is the loss of cheap labour.
    They want gambling with Thai customer access, fine the This immigration and Thai police are paid off.
    The bombers of Bangkok paid off the immigration on the border to enter Thailand illegally, and went on to kill people in Bangkok with a bomb.
    The overwhelming evidence of the nasty Thai nature is revealed every day!

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 5:24 pm

      So he’s saying what anyone who’s been in Thailand for a few months / anyone who’s been in Pattaya for a few weeks already knows, down to who the “influential figure” is and was before him without anyone needing to name him or his “influential” father.

      Nothing to do with any “nasty Thai nature”, just widespread corruption and abuse of power from on high, from within the system.

      Blaming them directly for the recent local outbreaks, and “globalisation … and Thailand’s “close contact with the international community” ” for the initial outbreak is probably stretching things a bit, though, unless he wants to turn back the clock a century or so.

  3. Avatar


    Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 3:27 pm

    Seems the gambling and human trafficking Business is more powerfu than the Tourist Business…?

    • Avatar


      Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 4:39 pm

      Yeah, I never understood the logic of bringing in cheap migrant labor when your own people can’t find work.

      I suspect it’s all politics and a matter of managing public perceptions, which is pretty much what CV-19 has been about in every country. In the case of Thailand, Western tourists are highly visible, but Burmese migrants can blend.

      • Avatar


        Monday, January 11, 2021 at 1:54 am

        There is no logic to it, while Thais are available and able to do it The villains are the greedy businessmen/politicians, devoid of, or severely lacking in any morality whatsoever

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Monday, January 11, 2021 at 11:23 am

          There’s plenty of logic to it, Ras.

          While Thais might be “available”, even if they’re in the wrong place, in many cases they’re not “able” to do the jobs.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Monday, January 11, 2021 at 11:20 am

        Thw “logic” is that the cheap migrant labour is already here, that Thais don’t want to do the jobs, and that Thais can’t do the jobs as many are highly skilled / skilled / semi-skilled.

        Long term, ‘yes’, Thais could take over the jobs but in the shirt term it’s impossible.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Monday, January 11, 2021 at 11:33 am

          Sorry, typo, “shOrt term” 🙂 !

  4. Avatar


    Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 4:29 pm


  5. Avatar


    Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 4:43 pm

    So easy to believe.

  6. Avatar

    Gupta Singh

    Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    Lets all wait for Issan John to enter this conversation and correctly tell us what is really going on, why its happening and the solutions after he does his 100% correct fact checking first. All whilst lying down! Please give him at least 30 minutes to do his checks on the every aspect of the Thai political system for the past 100 years.

    • Avatar


      Monday, January 11, 2021 at 7:24 am

      555! Good comment. I wonder if Imodium would work?

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Monday, January 11, 2021 at 11:38 am

        I’ll have to ask the doctor.

        I’ve never heard of immodium being used to treat a broken back and crushed vertebrae, but I’m sure she’ll give your suggestion all the respect it deserves.

        • Avatar


          Monday, January 11, 2021 at 4:18 pm

          I don’t care about that which you have typed. True or not,it doesn’t matter. What I see is what you write. Constantly correcting people. Very long diatribes that are not read. If you have a valid point, make it short and sweet. It’s all in good fun anyway.
          By the way, I lost my legs in a garden accident, both arms when my attempt at cooking went wrong, and my nose and tongue due to frostbite when I was at the North Pole. For the sake of proprietry, I won’t tell you what I’m typing this with. 🙂

    • Avatar


      Monday, January 11, 2021 at 8:16 am

      And Issan John’s most likely reply will be that you are being anti Thai, that’s his standard answer when he is lost for words.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Monday, January 11, 2021 at 11:43 am

        Really? Only in your rather sad dreams.

        Where it’s justified, go for it and knock yourself out but I’ll probably have been there before you; where it’s not, it’s just crying “Wolf”.

  7. Avatar


    Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 5:30 pm

    I don’t understand what is meant by finishing of the story, as they did; “he blames globalisation and Thailand’s “close contact with the international community.”

    What is Kaewsan Atipothiclaimed after, sure it can’t be. Does the ex-lecturer mean the Thailand has to blame the rest of the world, for its illegal gambling and workforce….? Well if that is the case, do like most parts of the world and legalize gambling and start to attract Thai citizens for these jobs, if you can’t afford to sell your products, as cheap as you do, well don’t! But as been said before, then the ruling party will loose to much kickbacks so that will probably not happen during our lifetime.

    • Avatar

      James Pate

      Monday, January 11, 2021 at 1:07 pm

      Yeah, I don’t get that, either. I guess the professor has years of research and reams of data to back up his conclusion regarding the “international community”. Is he too afraid to say “Chinese”?

  8. Avatar


    Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    when you are rich in thailand, you pay the police and invest in illegal gambling / brothel / drugs / human traffic / guns / money laundering , i mean don’t be naive that where the money is, payut know all of it of course, and probably get a piece of the cake, with all the other officials, in the village i live in, the mayor elected by buying vote in, is doing all of the above without hiding, he is too powerful for anyone to testify against him, so people just let it be, this guy just built a huge property in the national park, on top of the mountain for everybody to see, and every night girls, drugs and casino ! It’s the same all over the country, and when something bad happen their is tons of burmese or poor thais to blame and put in jail, TIT and most thai know it !

  9. Avatar


    Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 8:04 pm

    someones space bar is playing up

  10. Avatar


    Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 9:32 pm

    Wow! There is nothing new in what he claims, but that he dares to go public with this is amazing in amazing Thailand.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, January 11, 2021 at 11:27 am

      Nothing daring about it – he hasn’t named anyone, so who cares?

  11. Avatar


    Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 10:36 pm

    It is obvious to those looking in from the outside that gambling is in the Thai psyche, and no Government will ever stop it, so to make gambling illegal in Thailand is playing into the hands of Organised Crime. Far better to legalise and control, and make money for the country from taxes lawfully applied, and from employment contributions. Control can be overseen in many formats and paid for by the extra tax revenues. Also, more criminal intel will come in about the illegal gambling particularly from those involved in the licensed casino’s.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, January 11, 2021 at 12:20 pm

      Agreed 100%, Pedro.

      I can understand the arguments against gambling, particularly given who the strongest objections came from (now deceased), but being realistic it’s like banning abortions as it’s impossible to stop so it’s driven underground instead.

      Far better to be realistic, accept that it’s going to happen, and to legalise, regulate and control it with the country profiting from it rather than the criminals.

  12. Avatar


    Monday, January 11, 2021 at 10:16 am

    Of course the sheeple can’t find the wisdom or courage to support the young people of the country trying to do something about it.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, January 11, 2021 at 11:31 am

      I may have missed it, but what are “young people of the country trying to do about it” that “the sheeple” aren’t?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus Vaccines18 mins ago

Health Ministry to distribute 10 million vaccine doses across Thailand this month

Protests37 mins ago

31 anti-government activists granted conditional release

Best of55 mins ago

Top 5 suit tailors in Bangkok

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Protests56 mins ago

Ban on mass gatherings published in Royal Gazette ahead of anti-government protests this weekend

Thailand1 hour ago

Wednesday Covid Update: Record high of 20,200 new cases and 188 deaths

Coronavirus Vaccines1 hour ago

Health Ministry calls for a halt to criticism of doctors not involved in vaccine decisions

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Phuket2 hours ago

Phuket lays on Suvarnabhumi bus service for stranded sandbox tourists

Best of15 hours ago

Phuket’s 5 most family-friendly resorts

Transport15 hours ago

Transport Company announces bus services are suspended until August 31

Thailand17 hours ago

Thailand News Today | 29 provinces now on curfew, booze ban in Phuket

Insurgency18 hours ago

Volunteer ranger killed in grenade attack by suspected insurgents

Best of18 hours ago

Top 5 Spas in Koh Samui

Thailand18 hours ago

Hemp ice cream hits the Thai market

Chon Buri19 hours ago

Chon Buri sets local order, restaurants in malls to only offer food for delivery

Thailand19 hours ago

Samut Prakan man dies in fire, possibly self-inflicted

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8