Pork-smuggling mafia’s son arrested at Don Mueang Airport

Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) at Don Mueang International Airport yesterday apprehended Karin Piyapornpaiboon, the adopted son of a notorious Chinese pork-smuggling mafia figure, Li Sheng Jiao, known as Hia Kao (Brother Kao).

The arrest took place at 7.40am as Karin’s plane from China touched down, with him being transported to the DSI headquarters by 9am, as disclosed by Police Major Nathapol Ditsayatham, the lead investigator on the smuggling case.

Li Sheng Jiao, the adoptive father, is a primary suspect in a formidable smuggling operation involving nearly 60,000 tonnes of smuggled pork, seized in January, with the damages surpassing a billion baht. Li surrendered to police on his return from China on January 22.

The DSI investigation revealed that there were financial transactions between Karin and Li. The probe indicates that Karin transferred a minimum of 2.6 million baht (US$70,000) to his father in 2022, while Li is believed to have sent at least 10.8 million baht (US$300,000) to his adopted son from 2021 to 2023.

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Li has been further implicated by the DSI in another smuggling case, this time involving over 10,000 containers of chicken feet, the total market value of which stands at a staggering 5 billion baht (US$140 million). Karin confessed to operating several businesses on behalf of Li, including the chicken feet smuggling operation in Thailand. The DSI has found that the chicken feet were transported to a cold storage warehouse in Nakhon Pathom before being exported to China.

In relation to the case, Democrat leader and former agriculture minister Chalermchai Sri-on has vehemently denied any connection to the two suspects. Chalermchai was scrutinised due to his elder brother, Wirat Piyapornpaiboon, and his politician nephew, Jukkaphan Piyapornpaiboon, sharing the same surname as Karin, reported Bangkok Post.

Chalermchai stated that he has no familial ties or close associations with either suspect. He disclosed that he had only encountered Li once at an event attended by businessmen and politicians, and he expressed ignorance as to how Karin came to possess his brother’s Thai surname.

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.

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