The Department of Special Investigation was assigned to investigate a money-laundering case related to Chinese businessman Chaiyanat “Tuhao” Kornchayanant as authorities have impounded assets worth 4.40 billion baht suspected of involvement with his alleged illicit business.
Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin said the DSI would take up the Tuhao case because it was complicated, involved nominees and foreigners and concerned assets worth more than 3 billion baht.
The department would initially handle the case on its money-laundering aspects because it had authority on money-laundering suppression. The DSI board would consider if the department should expand its investigation to other possible offences, the minister said.
The Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) and the DSI have impounded assets worth 4.40 billion baht believed to be in possession of illicit Chinese networks in the country. The DSI found that about 4-5 groups of illicit business masterminds were behind Tuhao. They had foreign passports and were suspected of transferring money to Tuhao. Authorities were checking their roles and might also probe the alleged roles of Tuhao as a nominee, Mr Somsak said.
The department would also look for suspicious financial transactions and expand its investigation to suspected companies, their directors and witnesses. They would be called for questioning within two weeks and charges would be concluded in a month. In addition, the ONCB would impound suspicious assets worth about 1.2 billion baht believed to be linked with illicit Chinese networks. (TNA)