The “Tuhao” case is certainly a complicated one. Its trail of intrigue leads from Beijing to Bangkok and back again, passing all points between. So it is no surprise that the Department of Special Investigation decided to take up the case involving Chinese businessman Chaiyanat “Tuhao” Kornchayanant. Justice will now be served.
Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin said yesterday that Tuhao was complicated, affected national security, and involved many assets. So far, assets worth about 3.2 billion baht (US$90 million) have been scooped by investigators. The minister said that the Office of the Narcotics Control Board was about to impound another 1.2 billion baht.
Chaiyanat is said to have led at least four gangs. Members have foreign passports and are suspected of moving funds into Thailand illegally. The DSI is tracking them down. The impounded assets were in the possession of both individuals and companies, the Department of Special Investigation plans to call individuals for questioning within two weeks and will press charges within a month.
Tuhao turned himself over to Bangkok police on November 23 to answer allegations of involvement in a massive criminal operation, accusations he vehemently denies. His surrender followed searches at a luxury house on Bangkok’s Rama V Road and a luxury hotel. Tuhao’s wife is a senior police officer with connections to a previous deputy prime minister.
On October 26, police raided a club in Bangkok’s Yannawa district – reportedly owned by Tuhao – and arrested more than 100 customers, many of them Chinese nationals, on drug charges.
Tuhao is also suspected of bringing Chinese nationals to Thailand for illegal purposes. Before his arrest, Tuhao made a three-million-baht (US$90,000) donation to the PM’s Palang Pracharath Party.
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