Chinese businessman “Tuhao” and 40 accomplices were indicted in Bangkok on Thursday on a wide variety of charges, including drug trafficking and money laundering.
The indictment of Chaiyanat “Tuhao” Kornchayanant comes after attorney-general Naree Tantasathien gave the go-ahead. The AG ordered the Office of Narcotics Litigation to arraign Chaiyanat and the other suspects at the Bangkok South Criminal Court.
Charges are based on a 332-page report submitted to the AG last Friday summarising an investigation supervised by National Police Chief Pol. Gen. Damrongsak Kittiprapas.
They range from association with multinational criminal gangs through drug trafficking and money laundering to illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
Many suspects have been charged with operating entertainment venues without permission, hiring foreigners without work permits, and providing shelter to illegal immigrants.
Former massage parlour tycoon Chuwit Kamolvisit has played a key role in exposing criminal Chinese enterprises in Thailand, which he claims were run by Chinese businessman Tuhao and his network.
The investigation blew up when police raided a pub in Yannawa district of Bangkok on October 26. The pub was connected to Chaiyanat, who reportedly holds majority stakes in 22 companies. Chaiyanat has denied any link to drug use at the pub.
Six police officers have been dismissed so far amid an investigation into their alleged involvement in Chinese gangs and the illicit drugs trade. One of them is Pol Col Wanthanaree Kornchayanant, Chinese businessman Tuhao’s wife. Wanthanaree, was colonel in the foreign affairs division of the RTP and is the niece of deputy PM and former national police chief Pracha Promnok.
Also dismissed were two investigators at Yannawa Police Station and a deputy traffic inspector at Lat Phrao Station. They are accused of aiding the temporary release of Chinese suspects who subsequently escaped.
Investigations are continuing as well into the role of Immigration Bureau officials in arranging visas for hundreds of Chinese nationals, including some known criminals.