Phuket raids uncover multi-million baht foreign business schemes

Photo courtesy of KhaoSod English

In a crackdown on illicit foreign enterprises, the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), in collaboration with the Immigration Police, Tourist Police, and other authorities, stormed three businesses in Phuket. These companies, ostensibly legitimate, are suspected of being fronts for illegal activities.

Thaveewat Surasit, Director of the DSI’s Security Cases Division, revealed that the coordinated raids, backed by search warrants, aimed to expose individuals and agents registering businesses for foreigners.

“Our goal is to close loopholes exploited by foreigners while ensuring that the law encourages positive investment. Phuket, being a prime area, is critical in this respect.”

The operation saw officials from the Department of Tourism, the Department of Enterprise Development, the Tourist Police, the Immigration Police, the Phuket Police, and the Institute of Forensic Science simultaneously raiding the suspect businesses. The primary objective was to gather evidence for legal action against these foreign enterprises.

The first two sites raided were in Golden View Village, The Splash Courting, Kathu District, Phuket. The targeted businesses were Phuket Best Accounting Co., Ltd. at 9/511, and a two-story building at 9/484. Authorities seized records of financial transactions involving Russian, Pakistani, and Indian nationals, amounting to an astounding 200 to 300 million baht.

The third raid took place at a residential house in Rock Garden Village, Ratsada Subdistrict, Mueang Phuket District.

These investigations, ongoing since late last year, have spotlighted two primary groups: Europeans, predominantly Russians, and a cohort of Pakistanis and Indians, reported KhaoSod English.

The Russian contingent is chiefly involved in real estate and hotels, while the Pakistani and Indian groups focus on the restaurant industry. Notably, the files indicate minimal involvement of Thai nationals.

In related news, in a dramatic crackdown on illegal businesses in Phuket, 231 suspects, including 98 foreign nationals, mostly Russians, have been arrested, revealing a scandal worth over 1.5 billion baht.

The Economic Crime Suppression Division (ECSD), under the directive of the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) commissioner Police General Jirabhop Bhuridej, raided several accounting and real estate firms on the island. The operation resulted in pending charges against 96 legal entities and 135 individuals.

Crime NewsPhuket NewsThailand News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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