General Surachate Hakparn or ‘Big Joke’ underlined that police do not fear being sued by the criminal gangs but said that they had to approach the case from this point with care and diligence as they were fighting groups who were financially very powerful. At the same time, he underlined the importance of pursuing the evidence tenaciously to uphold the law.
Thailand’s most famous policeman and fix-it-man from police headquarters has revealed that investigators are preparing further arrests in relation to Chinese grey money gangs which have infiltrated the kingdom. Big Joke or General Surachate Hakparn, on Sunday, however, said that officers working on the case were being cautious and careful as they prosecute their enquiries and pursue charges against these groups who are financially very powerful. He also pointed out that most of the Chinese suspects involved hold dual Thai Chinese nationality and urged the public not to be prejudiced against normal, law-abiding Chinese people who visit Thailand or do business in the country.
High-profile Deputy National Police Commissioner Surachate Hakparn has revealed that the crackdown against nefarious Chinese business interests in the kingdom linked to illicit or ‘grey’ money or capital is carrying on apace.
The latest area being looked at by police investigators, as they trawl through intelligence being gleaned from raids, points to the activities of Thai nationals acting as nominees for Chinese buyers of property or in connection with Thai companies that are in effect controlled by suspect Chinese operators.
Investigators and team working on the Chinese racketeering case met at the Royal Thai Police Club on Sunday to review all the evidence and money trail
He was speaking at a meeting held on Sunday at the Royal Thai Police Club on Vibhavadi Road where he met with other members of the investigative team and Police Major General Pananchai Chaiyatham, a key local police commander involved in the case.
Over the weekend, former massage parlour boss and local Bangkok politician, Chuvit Kamolvisit, revealed that after weeks of upheaval driven by the ongoing crackdown, a woman in the capital is assisting the Chinese criminal network in frantic efforts to find safe houses for members of the mafia as its ultra-wealthy leadership have either been arrested or have already departed the country and been blacklisted by authorities.
General Surachate said Sunday’s meeting of officers was focusing on the trail of the Chinese capital that has so far been unearthed.
General Surachate warned against the danger of unfair prejudice towards Chinese nationals and pointed out many suspects were dual Thai Chinese
He warned that the public should be careful, at this time, not to think of all Chinese nationals as being involved in such activities.
The top police officer said he had held talks with representatives of the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok which last week signalled its full cooperation with the police in the crackdown.
General Surachate pointed out that, so far, the investigation has found that many of those suspected of wrongdoing have been dual Thai Chinese nationals rather than just people originating in China.
Chinese businessman in the heart of Bangkok with a fake Chinese Embassy car and police escort arrested
At the same time, the deputy chief said that arrest warrants will issue for all involved in the network and that Sunday’s meeting was being held towards that purpose.
General Surachate said that those that fled, including those that reportedly flew out on private planes, will be the subject of Interpol Red notices meaning that they can be apprehended anywhere in the world outside Thailand.
Up to 30 arrest warrants are in the pipeline as police plan also to go after Thai nationals who acted as nominee owners and company shareholders in weeks
He indicated that up to 30 arrest warrants may be in the pipeline as police follow the trail of the money left behind.
This includes the involvement of Thai nationals whose names were used to register cars and other assets including property and condominiums with some acting as company shareholders.
The former Immigration Bureau Commissioner, known as ‘Big Joke’, who is now operating at the highest echelons of the Royal Thai Police, said that the police are dealing with, in this investigation, powerful Chinese financial interests.
He said this meant that the battle will be harder as the police pursue the kingpins involved as the wealthy may use the law to thwart police action against them.
General Surachate stressed that it was a matter of importance to pursue the evidence in the case wherever it led in the interest of justice and upholding the law.
He said that police will endeavour to be clear and careful in making their case from this point onwards.
He underlined that the police do not fear being sued by those involved and promised to clarify matters for the media in another two to three weeks.