Authorities have impounded over 40 million baht in assets from a drug syndicate allegedly run by Lao national Xaysana Keopimpha, who is now serving life imprisonment for drug trafficking.
The 44-year-old is accused of laundering money after the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) traced the gang’s assets between 2017 and 2018.
The assets include property, luxury cars and watches, as well as brand-name bags, according to the Amlo website, which provided an update on the probe yesterday.
Amlo launched the investigation after drug suspect, Witthaya Sopha, was arrested, along with 2.3 million methamphetamine pills, in the southern province of Chumphon on Sept 16, 2015.
Police suspected that Xaysana and fellow suspect Chumphon Phanomphrai had masterminded the smuggling operation.
Two years later, Xaysana was arrested at Suvarnabhumi airport on Jan 19.
The drug kingpin received a life sentence for smuggling 1.2 million meth pills into Thailand in 2016.
Last year, the Criminal Court also sentenced Akarakit “Benz Racing” Worarojcharoendet to eight years in prison for drug-related money laundering. He and two other suspects were also accused of being involved in the trafficking of speed pills and crystal methamphetamine supplied by Natthaphol Nakkham.
The same investigation panel also impounded additional assets worth 15.8 million baht, belonging to Panasan, son of former permanent secretary for science Santad Somchivita.
Mr Panasan is facing charges of cheating people in a stock purchase scam and has so far had his assets examined by Amlo.
Earlier in January 2015, the office issued two orders to impound his assets — one involving items worth 438 million baht and the other 112 million baht.
It also froze 500,000 shares Mr Panasan holds in an energy firm, valued at 2.1 million baht, in 2016.
According to investigators, the suspect allegedly talked people into buying shares from him ahead of their initial public offering, citing they were shares “allocated by his patrons”.
The victims, who didn’t receive any shares after paying, lodged complaints with police over the 281 million baht in damages, which led to his arrest in 2014.