Alleged Chinese drug-ring boss surrenders to police in Bangkok
A Chinese businessman, who became a naturalised Thai after marrying a police colonel, turned himself in to a special team of police officers on Wednesday afternoon, strongly denying he was the boss of a drug ring.
Chainat Kornchayanan, who was referred to as “Tuhao” by former massage parlour tycoon Chuwit Kamolvisit, surrendered to the police team – which is in charge of a crackdown on Chinese mafia bosses – at the Police Club on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road at 1pm.
The South Bangkok Criminal Court had earlier issued an arrest warrant for Chainat on two counts:
- Allegedly collaborating with more than two accomplices to commit drug-related crimes.
- Allegedly collaborating with others to sell drugs and being in possession of narcotics with an intention to sell them.
Armed with the arrest warrant, the team, headed by deputy National Police chief Pol General Surachate Hakparn, combed two locations in Bangkok on Wednesday morning but did not locate Chainat.
One of the locations is the house of his wife, who is an officer at the Foreign Affairs Division of the Royal Thai Police.
She told investigators her husband does not stay at the house but she would tell him to surrender later in the day.
The police had stepped up crackdowns on alleged Chinese mafia bosses after more than 200 Chinese nationals were arrested at a drug party in Bangkok’s Sathorn area on October 25.
The Metropolitan Police busted a restaurant/karaoke joint on Charoen Rat Road after receiving complaints that the establishment was allegedly hosting a secret drug party for foreign tourists as well as gambling for its patrons.
After the bust, Chuwit came out to claim that he knew several Chinese mafia bosses had been running illegal businesses in Thailand, prompting the Royal Thai Police to set up a special team to step up their crackdowns.
Once Chainat arrived at the Police Club, he was taken into an interrogation room under observation by an army of reporters outside.
He shouted back at reporters that he was not involved in any drug trade as alleged in the arrest warrant.
“I’ve assigned my lawyer to explain about the evidence police claim to have against me to obtain the arrest warrant,” Chainat said.
He added that his lawyer would lodge a request for his release on bail.
Surachate told reporters after the surrender that police would proceed with the case in a “straightforward manner without fear of any influence”, although it was reported that Chainat was an influential individual with the backing and support of certain politicians in power.
Police are still trying to locate another suspect, identified as Chen Yang, Surachate added.