A press conference was held at the 5th Region Police this morning to announce the arrest of an international drug and money laundering gang.
A total of 9.4 million ya ba pills were confiscated on the 28th March in Ban Tu, Chiang Rai, and investigation has continued into the gang ever since. Today’s announcement was to reveal the culmination of the investigation.
A Soonthorn Mayoe, say the police, was involved in numerous transactions to accounts of drug prisoners currently in jail amongst others, and he took his orders from a man called Chiang Ma.
After drugs are distributed in Thailand, the money then goes into a money laundering process using electronic transactions across numerous borders.
A total of 109 accounts have been open in various banks in this network and police have information for all accounts.
61 people have so far been arrested so far with 13 in jail and a further 35 with arrest warrents out for them. Chiang Ma’s accounts, which total 19 found so far, total tens of billions of baht.
There are a further 700 accounts being investigated.
The police would like to warn the public against being invited to open an account. There are social media notices or nefarious people who will offer incentives of up to 1,500 to open a bank account, promising a further 3,000 a month after.
Police say that these accounts are used for money laundering and even though people who open them are victims, they are in fact complicit in the entire network of the gangs.
Some accounts have had hundreds of millions of baht added to them and police warn that the account holder can be arrested as well as be taxed.
Even though the people may be innocent, insist police, they could still be charged as it is hard to prove that their innocence.