‘Big Joke’ goes back to school to hunt visa crooks

As Big Joke leads his investigation into Chinese gangs operating in Bangkok, the probe is expanding so fast that it is only a matter of time before the cops are investigating every business in the nation’s capital.

There are no untouchables as criminal Chinese businesses appear to have pervaded almost every corner of Thai life from the scum floating at the top of the highest of high society to the bottom feeders of Khlong Toey.

Now, police have decided to investigate language schools and immigration officers.

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Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn has once again expanded his investigation of the Chinese crime syndicate tied to Chaiyanat Kornchayanant.

Celebrity cop Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn – “Big Joke” to friends and enemies alike – has once again expanded his examination of the ubiquitous Chinese syndicate tied to celebrity Triad kingpin Chaiyanat Kornchayanant – “Tuhao.”

On Saturday, Big Joke said a Thai-language school was used to obtain student visas for many Chinese crooks to gain entry to Thailand. It’s a very old scam and it will come as surprise to other language schools that such malfeasance remains a key entry point to the kingdom for evil interests. Crackdowns have been frequent.

Foundations and schools that issued certificates used by suspects to secure visas will face his wrath, BJ said. Police will reveal the identity of any brokers who helped the gang find suitably accommodating schools, he added.

Investigators will also take action against immigration officers who were “negligent” in screening foreigners arriving in the country.

Tuhao turned himself in on November 23, after the Bangkok South Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest. He denies all charges and was similarly denied bail.

On November 29, police raided 11 locations across Greater Bangkok, including a luxury housing project in the La Salle area of Samut Prakan.

Police searched three of the 50 houses in the project owned by a suspected nominee of the drug syndicate and paid for in cash. Many of the houses were built and sold (allegedly for cash) by SET-listed SC Asset Corporation owned by the Shinawatra clan.

The deal – potentially worth billions of baht – is convoluted and complex, of course – but if anyone can make sense of it all, Big Joke can. Paetongtarn Shinawatra, youngest daughter of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, and probable candidate for PM if no better sock puppet can be found, is the largest shareholder. She’s followed by big sister Pintongta Shinawatra Kunakornwong. Khunying Potjaman Damapong, Thaksin’s former wife, is the fourth-largest shareholder.

AS Big Joke leads his investigation where few cops have been before, whether the Shinawatras can escape the rising tide of filth that threatens to engulf the dynasty and flee back to safety in the Phitsanulok Mansion, only time will tell.

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Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career in East sia, Jon is now semi-retired and living in the Outer Hebrides. He continues to write and is an avid traveller and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.

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