Tuhao’s wife arrested in Bangkok over money laundering charges
Police swooped in at a condominium in Bangkok and arrested the police colonel wife of alleged triad leader Chaiyanat “Tuhao” Kornchayanant on money laundering charges.
Police also arrested six other alleged accomplices in the operation on Saturday afternoon.
Pol Colonel Wattanaree Kornchayanant, who is the superintendent of the police foreign affairs division, and the other suspects are being detained at Metropolitan Police Bureau for interrogation led by chief investigator Pol Maj-General Noppasin Poolsawat.
Wattanaree is a niece of Pol General Pracha Promnok, a former National Police chief and former deputy minister under the Yingluck Shinawatra government.
Police said they plan to arrest another 15 Thai and Chinese suspects believed to be involved in the case.
“The key suspect is Tuhao’s grandson who has reportedly left Thailand,” police added.
Chaiyanat is a Chinese businessman who was granted Thai citizenship after marrying a senior police officer and is believed to be behind a Chinese triad dealing in drugs and other criminal activities.
After he surrendered on November 23, police raided many sites in Bangkok and other provinces believed to be the bases of Chaiyanat’s alleged network. They include 50 houses in two luxury residential projects in Bangkok, eight companies in Phuket, and a non-profit organisation in Chiang Mai.
Assets worth more than 3 billion baht have also been confiscated.
More than 100 Chinese nationals have been arrested in relation to the case and are being questioned. Some 27 immigration police officers have also been found to have been helping these Chinese triads to stay illegally in Thailand.
Former massage parlour tycoon and politician Chuvit Kamolvisit has been exposing businesses run by Chinese triads and pushing the authorities to take firm action.