The House of Representatives on Thursday (10 November) discussed shady businesses run by Chinese nationals in Thailand. The defense minister responded to a query on this topic, saying these activities include investment scams, call center gangs, and illicit service venues. More clarity about recent arrests pertaining to these activities is expected next week.
Maha Sarakham MP Yuttapong Charasathien issued a query for the prime minister asking about progress in the case against Chinese individuals running gray businesses. He said these activities, which impact Thailand’s sovereignty, may be receiving the support of politicians and former police top brass. He also inquired about the case of Chainat Konchayanan, a Chinese man who has made donations to a large political party. In addition, the MP asked about the process and reasons involved in granting Thai citizenship to Mr. Chainat. He said the case impacts national security and public confidence.
Deputy Minister of Defense Chaichan Changmongkol responded to the query in place of the prime minister, who was performing duty in Cambodia. Gen. Chaichan said the government does not tolerate foreigners engaging in illicit affairs in Thailand. More clarity about the arrests cited by Mr. Yutthapong is expected to be yielded next week. He said individuals implicated in these cases have already been blacklisted by Interpol. The deputy defense minister said officials have been told to use all available laws to take action against funders of illicit activities that impact national security.
According to Gen. Chaichan, the police have determined there are 3 types of ‘gray businesses’ in Thailand run by foreigners. These comprise investment scams, call center gangs, and service venues that sell to specific nationals. He explained that the issue of donations made to a political party will be looked at by the Election Commission. He said the prime minister has ordered an investigation into whether the issuance of citizenship for Mr. Chainat was in accordance with protocol. (NNT)