Thamanat Prompow, the expelled former secretary-general of the Palang Pracharath Party, has denied having connections to any illicit business, as the police crackdown continues on Chinese criminal triads operating in Thailand.
In a 2 minute 50 second video posted on Wednesday, Capt Thamanat said many media reports had linked him with “grey businesses” run by Chinese people in Thailand.
“I am 58 years old and have visited many countries. I have friends of many nationalities including Westerners, Chinese, Thai and Indian people but I don’t have any business that involves any grey Chinese people, as accused,” he said.
He asked the media to publish reports that were beneficial to the public rather than damaging to people.
Capt Thamanat said he had been involved with many businesses before becoming a politician and he was ready to be examined through legal means.
He said he was collecting information about the accusations made against him. The media should base their reports on verifiable information rather than “going to court”.
Capt Thamanat is a Phayao province MP for the Setthakij Thai Party. He was a list candidate of the Pheu Thai Party before the May 22, 2014 coup.
In 2018 he joined the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP), was its chief strategist for the North and became the Phayao MP the following year. He was elected secretary-general of PPRP last year.
The PPRP board expelled him and his 21-MP faction in January this year. Capt Thamanat was reportedly at odds with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha after allegedly trying to mobilise no-confidence votes against the prime minister during the censure debate in September last year.
Gen Prayut sacked Capt Thamanat from the position of deputy agriculture minister in September last year.
Capt Thamanat’s denial and warning to the media comes as police move against alleged illicit business activities by Chinese said to be local leaders of criminal triads. and amid speculation that Gen Prayut plans to remain in politics after the general election set for May next year.