From soapy king to supersleuth, Chuwit’s rehabilitation

The rehabilitation of soapy massage king Chuwit Kamolvisit continues. The controversial former Thai politician was once the country’s biggest massage parlour owner and fondly known throughout the kingdom as the “tub tycoon.”

Chuwit acknowledged paying hefty bribes to many Thai police officers after he was arrested in 2003 but then decided to go legit. The 61 year old sold most of his massage parlours, formed a political party and unsuccessfully ran for Bangkok governor in 2004. He continued to flirt with politics for several years following his defeat in the Bangkok governor race and after little success decided on another career path, as a part-time cop, spearheading a personal crusade to uncover crime and mass corruption in Thailand.

Chuwit recently led an undercover operation to expose the illegal business activities of Chinese triads in Thailand. And, as a consequence, is entitled to a 5% reward of the assets confiscated from the gangsters.

Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin yesterday hailed Chuwit for his courage in providing information about the alleged financial activities of major drug networks to the ministry, reported Bangkok Post.

Somsak praised the Hong Kong-born businessman during a meeting with representatives from 11 state agencies to discuss integration and understanding in the seizure of assets from those involved in the drug trade.

“He was an example of a good citizen and would receive a reward of 5% of the assets seized from Chinese nationals running grey businesses.

“For example, if the seized assets were worth about 2 billion baht, Mr Chuwit would receive a cash reward of about 100 million baht, the minister said.

“Over the past two months, authorities had confiscated assets worth 6,879 million baht from those involved in the illegal drug trade.”

Chuwit was humbled when he was informed of his reward according to KomChadLuek media. The platform reported that he did not want the reward because he has enough money.

Chuwit reportedly announced he will donate the reward to the nation’s hospitals.

Chuwit last month submitted several documents to the Justice Ministry uncovering the illegal financial activities of Chinese triads in Thailand and, in particular, the illicit dealings of Chaiyanat Kornchayanant, known as Tuhao.

Tuhao later surrendered to police on November 23 after an arrest warrant was issued by the Bangkok South Criminal Court for his alleged involvement in the drug trade. He denied all the charges, but the court denied him bail, ruling him a flight risk.

Police subsequently raided several locations across Greater Bangkok, including a luxury housing project in Samut Prakan, where they discovered that Tuhao his gang of businessmen bought 50 houses in a luxury village in Bangkok.

There are 66 luxury properties in the village valued between 35-60 million baht each. Since 2020, over 50 houses were bought by Chinese buyers through Thai agents, with cash.

In Chuwit’s latest investigation, he alleged on Wednesday that three former division commanders of the Immigration Bureau solicited bribes in exchange for approving applications for non-immigration visas for at least 3,325 Chinese nationals who entered Thailand as tourists and stayed here.

Chuwi reckons the payments ranged from 100,000-300,000 baht per visa.

The crusade goes on.

From soapy king to supersleuth, Chuwit's rehabilitation | News by Thaiger

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.