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‘Dark influences’ are reeling: Defence spokesman

BANGKOK: The suppression of “dark influences” had made some major advances, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said in a statement yesterday (Mar 5) that stressed the government’s priority for security agencies to protect rights and liberty.

crime, corruption, drugs, immigration, police,

Bangkok Post

Monday 6 March 2017, 09:14AM

Police put up a chart showing members of a drug trafficking network allegedly operated by Lao national Xaysana Keopimpha who was arrested in January. Photo: Patipat Janthong
Police put up a chart showing members of a drug trafficking network allegedly operated by Lao national Xaysana Keopimpha who was arrested in January. Photo: Patipat Janthong

Defence Ministry spokesman Maj Gen Kongcheep Tantrawanich said military, police and administrative officials had followed Gen Prawit’s instructions to reduce social disparity and injustice through strict law enforcement.

The suppression of persons deemed to wield “dark influence” had made much progress, with cooperation from the people providing information and clues to state officials. A number of people have been arrested, Maj Gen Kongcheep said.

He said an outstanding success in the suppression of dark influences was the arrest of Lao drug kingpin Xaysana Keophimpa, who operated more than 100 drug networks spanning several Asean countries in connection with transnational drug gangs operating out of Thailand.

The authorities had frozen more than B100 million worth of assets from suspects in his networks.

With information from victims and public complaints, a number of major off-system loan operators and heavy-handed debt collectors under their control have been arrested. One of them was Wichai Panngam, who controlled about 100 branches with more than 200 illegal money lenders and some 170,000 debtors. The entire network had more than B4,000mn in circulation.

Regarding human-trafficking, which has long been overlooked and become a national-level problem, Thailand was ranked at a very low position in the 2014 human-trafficking report. After the government declared it part of the national agenda and pooled efforts to solve the problem, Thailand’s ranking has improved to be on the priority watch list.

Information from the people led the authorities to smash illegal entertainment establishments linked to human-trafficking, rescue a number of victims and freeze about B700mn worth of ill-gotten assets.

The government will continue with the suppression of dark influences, be they from within the country or from abroad.

State officials found to be involved in illegal operations will not be spared, Maj Gen Kongcheep said.

Read original story here.



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