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Three generals among the 80 immigration officers working with the triad

Investigations estimate that at least 80 immigration police officials, three of whom are generals, have assisted around 5,000 members of Chinese triad criminal groups in remaining illegally in Thailand.

On Monday, Deputy National Police Chief General Surachet Hakparn told reporters that the suspects had been summoned to face charges of misconduct and demanding bribes.

After former massage parlor tycoon and politician Chuwit Kamolvisit submitted information on purported Chinese triads operating in Thailand, the police initiated a nationwide investigation in November.

A warrant was promptly issued for accused triad kingpin Chaiyanat “Tuhao” Kornchayanant, a Chinese national who earned Thai citizenship by marrying a senior Thai police officer. According to Surachet, who lead the inquiry, officials were found to have provided student and other visas to approximately 3,000 Chinese nationals in the Northeast and more than 1,000 in the North between 2020 and 2021, allowing them to remain in Thailand and engage in unlawful operations.

Among the 5,000 recipients is the proprietor of Club One, a well-known Pattaya nightlife facility that authorities say is a triad base of operations.

Surachet stated, “We need to filter out bad officials from the force of almost 20,000 immigration police.”

“Investigators are also working with the National Anti-Corruption Commission to trace these alleged officials’ funds.”

So far, authorities have seized 5.3 billion baht in assets from Chaiyanat, including real estate, buses, bank savings, enterprises, and an airplane. Last Monday, the Justice Ministry announced the seizure of another 3 billion baht in assets owned by Chaiyanat and persons in his network.

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