Police crackdown after CNN investigation into multimillion dollar medical glove scam

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Thai police have arrested a Japanese businessman and have issued several arrest warrants following the CNN investigation into the multimillion dollar, transnational medical glove scam involving a Thailand-based company. According to the report, millions of used medical gloves, some stained with blood, were exported from Thailand to American companies looking to cash in on the pandemic-driven spike in demand for medical equipment.

Thailand’s Central Investigation Bureau held a press conference yesterday and announced they issued six arrest warrants. According to CNN, the bureau said the arrest warrants were issued for people who scammed US$2.6 million from American investor Louis Ziskin.

Louis had been arrested by Thai police earlier this year for alleged involvement in a multimillion dollar kidnap for ransom case in Bangkok’s Thong Lor district. On March 28, a Taiwanese businessman was abducted in broad daylight at the L’Oliva restaurant where he was said to be meeting to resolve the failed business deal over the US$2.6 million in substandard medical gloves purchased by Louis.

Apparently, the Taiwanese man was taken to a nearby room on Sukhumvit Soi 36 and several men demanded US$3 million for his release. Louis has denied involvement and has since been released from jail as Thai police missed their deadline to submit evidence. CNN reported that he flew back home to Los Angeles.

Thailand’s Central Investigation Bureau says the arrest warrants issued are for six people in the interest of CNN’s report. Louis also told CNN that he has been co-operating with Thai police in their investigations.

Thai media reports that 42 year old Shuichi Ozawa was arrested last week at a Bangkok hotel on charges of manufacturing medical equipment without permission. Thai PBS World says the Japanese businessman, who is said to be a former member of the Yakuza organised crime syndicate, is accused of selling 200 million baht worth of substandard gloves to buyers in Switzerland and the US.

Officers raided a warehouse in Chon Buri said to be under the suspect’s name and seized more than 10 million pairs of medical gloves.

CNN reports that one arrest warrant is for Luk Fei Yeung Yeung, from Hong Kong, who ran Paddy the Room Trading Company, which was the company CNN says brokered deals with American buyers, including Louis, for large quantities of medical gloves, which ended up being used and even dirty. According to CNN, Thai authorities say Luk Fei has left the country.

SOURCES: CNN | Nation Thailand | Thai PBS World

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