PHUKET TOWN: Slamming rumors that his name might be included on the much-feared government “blacklist” of suspected drug dealers, Boonkeng “Ko-Keng” Srisaensuchart, owner of Srisuchart Transport Co and Srisuchart Grandview Projects, today emphatically denied any involvement in the illegal drugs trade, past or present. He blamed unnamed business rivals for the rumors, which, he said, “are a trick to destroy my name, my family and my business.” K. Boonkeng made his statement at a press conference he called at the Metropole Hotel this morning. He said, “Today, I have to speak out because I can no longer stand for these types of rumors, which have caused me great hardship over the past 26 years.” In the past, K. Boonkeng has also fought off rumors that his real estate development was swindling buyers by selling homes on land it did not own, and that he had Aids (during a period when, he said, he was suffering from a minor skin ailment he had contracted in Japan). The press conference underscores the present climate of fear in Thailand, with the public being encouraged to tell authorities about individuals suspected to be involved in the drug trade. It is believed that some people are using the opportunity to plant rumors of drug-dealing in an effort to settle old scores.
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