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

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.”

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“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

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