Thai senator faces indictment on money laundering, criminal organisation charges
A Thai Senator Upakit Pachirirangkun faces indictment on charges of money laundering and involvement in a transnational criminal organisation, according to Kosolwat Inthuchanyong, the spokesman for the Office of the Attorney-General. The decision follows a police investigation into the senator’s alleged connections with illicit activities, Bangkok Post reported this morning.
However, 61 year old Upakit denied the charges. In a press conference on March 17, the senator countered allegations made by Move Forward Party MP Rangsiman Rome, who accused him of having ties with Myanmar national Tun Min Latt, arrested for drug trafficking last year. Pachirirangkun claimed that Rangsiman and some media outlets had made unsupported conclusions and denied allegations of laundering drug money through an electricity supply business on the Thai-Myanmar border.
Kosolwat Inthuchanyong stated that the senator’s case had been passed to prosecutors, with the attorney-general set to decide whether or not to endorse the indictment on July 26. Under Section 8 of the Prevention and Suppression of Involvement in a Transnational Criminal Organisation Act 2013, any person in a position of authority who commits an offence under this section is liable for twice the normal penalty prescribed for the offence.
Senator Upakit’s case began to grab media attention after the arrest of Burmese businessman Tun Min Latt in Bangkok last September on charges of drug trafficking and money laundering. Upakit reportedly has had close ties with Tun Min Latt, Nation Thailand reported.
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