Connect with us

Crime

Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone building airport, crime feared

Published

 on 

PHOTO: The Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone is building an airport opponents say could increase drug and human trafficking. (via Wikimedia)

Construction has resumed on a private airport in Laos on the Thai border as part of the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone, a casino resort complex considered to be rife with illegal activity. The owner of the development, Zhao Wei, is the chairman of the Dok Ngiew Kham Group and has been named in connection with human trafficking, drugs, money laundering, and illegal animal products.

A representative for the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone stated that they have cleared obstacles and began work on the private airport in an interview with Radio Free Asia. The project had previously been held up by local landowners that did now want to give up their land to see the airport built.

The Dok Ngiew Kgam Group appears to have offered ample financial compensation as the objections have been resolved and a local who gave up her land was reported to say that many were opposed at first, but they were now happy with the payment they received and are no longer resisting the airport.

Opposition does still exist, however, as residents in Laos’ Bokeo province just across the border from Chiang Rai fear the private airport will not benefit the local economy but will bring in more criminal activity. Many see the airport as unnecessary since the Houayxay airport is not far from there, and believe it will only serve wealthy casino customers. There are a few that believe that the airport may still bring in some additional tourism outside the Special Economic Zone to the area.

But many experts in the area believe that at best the airport will serve to further increase the Chinese control and influence in the area and at worst it will become an easy conduit to drug trafficking or worse. China is already the number one foreign investor in Laos and second only to Thailand in trade. They have invested US $1.3 trillion into a Belt and Road initiative to build infrastructure, high-speed rail, and hydropower dams. Some fear the increased Chinese power in the region.

But worse is the possibility of illegal activities going on in the Special Economic Zone. An anonymous employee said that drugs, prostitutes, and illegal wildlife are all readily available inside. The United States declared the entire business network, including the Kings Romans Casino in the economic zone, to be a transnational criminal organisation. They have sanctioned companies and people involved in Laos, Thailand, and Hong Kong, including Zhao Wei himself.

Experts in the region believe this is opening the gates to create a new pathway for drug trafficking and more. When asked about the lawlessness in several of these Special Economic Zones, an official on the Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Special Economic Zone Control Department said they were unable to comment on the issue.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Chon Buri4 hours ago

Faulty wiring, poor construction, unsafe materials in Mountain B fire

Chon Buri4 hours ago

Mountain B: Owner out on bail, Bangkok club inspection, viral moment

Central Thailand5 hours ago

Thai woman murders her abusive boyfriend in front of a monk

Sponsored13 hours ago

Super luxury villas in Phuket with breathtaking ocean views

North East5 hours ago

UPDATE: Sexy Thai model fined 5,000 baht for dancing topless in club

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Poll says 64% Thais had enough with PM Prayut

North East6 hours ago

10 year old killed & 5 injured after pickup hits motorbike sidecar

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime6 hours ago

Court releases Mountain B owner on bail for 300k baht following fire in eastern Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Thailand has 5 BA.2.75 antibody-resistant Covid-19 sub-variant

Tourism7 hours ago

UK student conquers mountain in Thailand blindfolded

Home Services7 hours ago

Top 5 reasons to get a maid service in Thailand

Cambodia7 hours ago

Nigerian monkeypox case who fled Thailand is banned from Cambodia for 3 years

Thailand8 hours ago

Red Shirts lead rally against Thailand PM on August 23

Bangkok9 hours ago

Emirates is recruiting cabin crew in Thailand

Thailand9 hours ago

Netizens slam cannabis firm for encouraging underage users

Transport9 hours ago

Drunk driver in 2 hit-and-runs drags motorbike taxi 300 metres

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year ago

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

Phuket1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Trending