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AMLO confiscates Bt40m worth of Lao drug convict Xaysana's assets

Mar 12. 2019
File photo: Xaysana
File photo: Xaysana
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By The Nation

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The Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) has temporarily confiscated 43 assets worth Bt40.9 million belonging to Lao drug convict Xaysana Keopimpa, according to an order published on Tuesday on the agency’s website.

The website said the AMLO transaction committee had resolved on January 15 to confiscate Xaysana’s assets – including properties, luxury cars and brand-name wristwatches and bags – for 90 days, during the first 30 days of which the suspect was allowed to appeal against the order and present evidence proving the legitimate origin of the assets. 

The Criminal Court in March 2018 had sentenced 42-year-old Xaysana to life behind bars, after finding him guilty of smuggling narcotics, including heroin and methamphetamine, into Thailand. Xaysana – believed to be the mastermind behind a network that smuggled drugs from Laos for sale in southern Thailand and other Asean countries, including Malaysia and Singapore – was arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport in January 2017. 

The arrests of Xaysana and his accomplices stemmed from the September 2015 arrest of drug-ring member Wittaya Sopon in Chumphon, along with 2.3 million meth pills.

In another case, the website on Tuesday also reported the AMLO transaction committee’s order to confiscate between February 12 and May 12 six additional assets worth Bt15.8 million belonging to Panasan Somchevita, the son of the former permanent secretary for the then-Information and Communications Technology Ministry, Sunthad Somchevita. 

Panasan, who was accused of duping other people out of more than Bt200 million in an alleged stock scam, was arrested in Phetchaburi in 2014. 

AMLO had previously seized Panasan’s and his accomplices’ assets in four batches: 14 assets worth Bt112.4 million on January 23, 2015; 24 assets worth Bt438.2 million on January 26, 2015; one asset worth Bt2.1 million on August 31, 2016; and a further 11 assets on April 9, 2018.

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