Corruption investigation leaves some Thai immigration officials in hot water over helping Chinese businessmen

A corruption investigation has left some Thai immigration officials in hot water over their alleged involvement in helping Chinese businessmen. Senior Immigration Bureau investigators say they found clear evidence that some officers are helping foreign criminals by serving as owners of foundations that provided visas to Chinese nationals.

According to Bangkok Post, one of the ‘foundations’ had its headquarters in a chicken coop, which is clearly the wrong location for a foundation office. Further findings revealed schools applying for visas for such Chinese nationals as well as falsification of signatures by a deputy governor.

The investigation found some IB officers using a fake foundation to hire agents to falsify visa documents. Police are expected to summon the accused officers, who range from station heads and commanders to officers.

Former politician and massage parlour tycoon, Chuvit Kamolvisit, has reportedly been supplying police with documents that link corrupt officials to illegal businesses run by Chinese triads in the country. Chuvit alleged that three former division commanders of the IB took bribes in exchange for approving non-immigrant visas for 3,325 Chinese nationals who had entered the country on tourist visas.

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He furthered that the bribes cost between 100,000 baht to 300,000 baht per person. Chuvit submitted more information about the alleged Chinese triads back in November 2022.

As a result, police say more arrests have been made with the biggest being that of suspected crime boss Chaiyanat “Tuhao” Kornchanayanant, a Chinese national who is married to a police officer. Even more telling, is that the police officer is a niece of a former national police chief and deputy prime minister.

Chaiyanat turned himself in on November 23 after the Bangkok South Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant. He is accused of being involved in the drug trade but has denied all charges against him. The court denied him bail and he is currently in custody.

Secretary-general, Wichai Chaimongkol, says the Office of the Narcotics Control Board has reportedly seized more than 1.1 billion baht from Chaiyanat in assets.

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.