Democrat Party leader refutes ties to pork smuggling scandal

Democrat Party leader Chalermchai Sri-on yesterday refuted claims implicating his former secretary in a controversial pork smuggling case. The allegations stirred a media storm, prompting the need for an official press conference.

The former secretary embroiled in the scandal, lawyer Somkiat Korpaisarn, has been accused by the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) of a host of crimes, not least of which is pork smuggling. The charges also extend to involvement with criminal elements and money laundering.

The DSI alleges that Somkiat had ties with Li Sheng Jiao, commonly known as Hia Kao or Brother Kao. Hia Kao, a well-established politician and chairperson of a trade association, is the key suspect in the smuggling operation that has reportedly caused a significant financial toll in the billions of baht.

Arrest warrants were also served last week to four other individuals, including Li’s son, Karin Piyapornpaiboon. Interestingly, Karin shares his surname with Wirat Piyapornpaiboon, who happens to be the elder brother of Chalermchai.

Related news

Chalermchai, who had previously denied any familial connection with Li, reiterated at the press conference that Somkiat was neither a relative nor a close confidant. He went on to reveal that he is contemplating filing a defamation lawsuit against the media.

He explained that the photo of him with Li was taken when he was invited by Li’s trade association, underlining their professional relationship rather than any personal ties. He further clarified his association with the pork smuggling case, attributing his involvement to his role as the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives in the previous government, during which he was dealing with an African swine fever (ASF) outbreak.

Chalermchai explained that he had instructed Prapat Potasuthon, the then deputy agricultural minister overseeing the Livestock Department, to focus on the pork smuggling case. He believes he has been targeted by political adversaries for their gain.

“My family has never accepted any bribes or aided any illicit activities that violate the law.”

The current Minister of Justice, Police Colonel Tawee Sodsong, said that investigators are dedicating their efforts to the pork smuggling case and the allegations against the suspected parties as it directly impacts the country’s food security.

Investigators will base their accusations against the primary suspect on tangible evidence, not merely because his name has been associated, stated Pol. Col. Tawee reported Bangkok Post.

Crime NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

Related Articles