Drug money laundering network partly controlled by prison inmates shocks Thai authorities due to the vast sums involved. The networks used drugs money to buy gold which they then used to purchase oil and sold it on international markets. Deputy Police Commissioner, General Suchart Theerasawat, said on Friday that three hundred arrest warrants had been executed and a further 100 people are being tracked down.
Thai police throughout the kingdom have arrested no less than 300 people with 100 still on the run as raids in the Yaowarat Road or Bangkok’s Chinatown on gold shops signalled the smashing this week of a money-laundering network dealing with vast sums in hundreds of billions of baht.
Thai police and investigators have made the startling discovery that as much as ฿200 billion may be involved in the money laundering of the proceeds of drug dealing using the country’s gold industry and networks of gold shops nationwide.
On Friday, it was reported that dozens of gold shops were raided by police and security forces as a combined force involving the Metropolitan Police in Bangkok, the Central Investigation Bureau, Narcotics Suppression Bureau and other agencies moved to dismantle the operation which is believed to have been running for some time.
Scale of this evil drug laundering network so vast it may have had economic implications
The scale of the criminal money laundering unearthed is so vast that it may even have had economic implications.
It is understood that illicit drug revenues from a large proportion of Thailand’s drug networks have been funnelled into the scheme whereby gold bars were bought in large quantities and exported from the country.
Similar plays were carried out in oil before the laundered cash was channelled back into accounts controlled by the evil drug barons.
Some of the network’s activities directed from behind prison walls in Thailand say police investigators
Police briefings to the media on Friday divulged that some of the directions concerning this vast undertaking were coming from inside the walls of Thai prisons.
Investigators have passed on vital criminal intelligence to Police Colonel Naras Savestanan, the Director-General of Thailand’s Department of Corrections so that an investigation into this aspect of the criminal network and conspiracy may take place.
Nationwide raids including Bangkok’s Chinatown
The raids on Friday involved targeting a range of locations in Thailand including the Yaowarat Road area of Bangkok also known as Chinatown where several gold shops were searched.
Similar operations took place in Kanchanaburi, Mae Sot, Tak and Nakhon Pathom provinces.
A staggering 300 people have been arrested so far in the police crackdown with 100 warrants still outstanding.
Police and security chiefs believe many of those not collared, have already fled or are in hiding. They may even be trying to leave the country, a particularly difficult prospect at this time.
So far, police are reported to have seized ฿70 million in cash and assets including quantities of drugs in this operation.
Initial police investigation targeted 4 drug networks laundering ฿100 billion by buying gold and selling oil
On Friday, the Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Thai Police, General Suchart Theerasawat, said the initial investigation identified 4 drug networks involved in laundering ฿100 billion by buying gold and selling oil on the market.
Monies were transferred from the proceeds of drugs through a large network of gold shops.
He indicated that the raids, this week, represent a crackdown on that operation and an extension of police investigations into the wider nature of this illicit trade.