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Immigration officers linked to triad visa racket

Immigration officers linked to triad visa racket

BANGKOK: An investigation into corruption by senior Immigration Bureau (IB) officers has found clear evidence of officers helping foreign criminals, and even serving as owners of foundations that arranged visas for Chinese nationals.

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By Bangkok Post

Friday 13 January 2023, 12:00PM


Former massage parlour tycoon Chuvit Kamolvisit submits documents about Chinese nationals running grey businesses in Thailand at the Royal Thai Police headquarters on Dec 1. Photo: Apichart Jinakul / Bangkok Post file

Former massage parlour tycoon Chuvit Kamolvisit submits documents about Chinese nationals running grey businesses in Thailand at the Royal Thai Police headquarters on Dec 1. Photo: Apichart Jinakul / Bangkok Post file

One of the foundations had its headquarters in a chicken coop, deputy national police chief Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn said on Thursday (Jan 12), a day after presenting his findings to national police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas, reports the Bangkok Post.

The investigative committee found clear proof of offences such as renewal of visas for Chinese nationals through foundations, visa applications by schools or falsification of signatures of a deputy governor, said Pol Gen Surachate. He did not give more details.

Some officers had used houses and even a chicken coop as offices for foundations set up to apply visas for Chinese nationals. Investigators found some IB officers were owners of foundations that hired agents to falsify documents, said Pol Gen Surachate.

The national chief has ordered drastic action against all of the officers involved, he said.

Police are expected to summon all of the accused officers, ranging from commanders and station heads to officers at the operational level, to hear the charges next week, he added.

The former massage parlour tycoon and politician Chuvit Kamolvisit for weeks has been supplying police and the media with documents said to detail links between corrupt officials and grey businesses run by Chinese triads in Thailand.

He has alleged that three former division commanders of the Immigration Bureau took bribes in exchange for approving non-immigrant visas for 3,325 Chinese nationals who had entered the country on tourist visas.

He said the cost of getting such an application approved by one of the commanders ranged from B100,000 to 300,000 per person. This prompted the national police chief to set up an inquiry panel.

In November, Mr Chuvit submitted information about the alleged financial activities of Chinese triads in Thailand to the Justice Ministry.

A number of arrests have since been made, the biggest being that of suspected crime boss Chaiyanat ‘Tuhao’ Kornchanayanant, a Chinese national married to a police officer who is the niece of a former national police chief and deputy prime minister.

Mr Chaiyanat turned himself in on Nov 23 after the Bangkok South Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest for alleged involvement in the drug trade. While he denied all the charges, the court denied him bail and he has been in custody ever since.

The Office of the Narcotics Control Board has so far seized assets worth more than B1.1 billion from the suspect, according to secretary-general Wichai Chaimongkol.

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Pooliekev | 18 January 2023 - 12:45:15

Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone. A message for all dissenting, elderly expats.

Kurt | 18 January 2023 - 10:33:07

Government Criminals, but hypocrite as they are warn: Foreigners must follow visa rules! Rules Immigration Offices shuffle themselve aside if they can fill their corrupt pockets.
Question: Is the illegal B100 fast lane for arrivals at Phuket airport Immigration back?

JohnC | 14 January 2023 - 09:25:02

Of course they were helping criminals. Immigration wear the RTP uniforms as well don't they!

skorchio | 13 January 2023 - 19:33:52

how mafiosa - married to a highly connected police officer, family ties to the country's previously most senior police officer and the deputy PM ? Is this a joke ? These people did not know who Mr Tuhao is and what he does? Super amazing Thailand ....... 

Capricornball | 13 January 2023 - 13:46:31

These corrupt officials represent everything wrong in Thailand's government. Top-level managers involved in, or complicit to horrendous crime elements that do unspeakable damage to this entire country. If nothing comes out of this, there cannot be a louder message that there is no hope for this place.

Fascinated | 13 January 2023 - 12:38:04

Best police force money can buy. Funny how Big Joke gets sidelined every time he gets his teeth into something- its almost as if the top cops have something to hide!

 

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