By Thai Newsroom Reporters
POLICE WERE ENCOURAGED today (Feb.20) to confiscate a building in the heartland of Bangkok allegedly owned by a notorious money-laundering suspect who has turned it into the Ruam Thai Sang Chart headquarters.
During a press conference, Move Forward MP Rangsiman Rome called on police chief Pol.Gen.Damrongsak Kittiprapat to indiscriminately follow the legal procedures whilst taking legal action against money-laundering suspects by, among other steps, confiscating the building in Soi Ari Phaholyothin area which is being reportedly rented for use as the Ruam Thai Sang Chart headquarters. The Ruam Thai Sang Chart is currently endorsing Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s design to retain power after an upcoming general election.
The police are legally obliged to confiscate property and assets reportedly owned by those who may have been suspected of perpetrating crimes such as money laundering and narcotics trading, Rangsiman said.
However, it remains to be seen whether the police chief will ever manage to do so as far as Prayut, who is looking to retain power by contesting the general election as partisan contender for prime minister under the brand-new party’s tickets, is concerned, according to the Move Forward MP.
Senator Upakit Pajariyangkun had reportedly bought the newly-constructed building and surrounding parcel of land in Soi Ari Phaholyothin area for 101 million baht and rented the property for use by the Ruam Thai Sang Chart headquarters.
Rangsiman also called on the police chief to manage to obtain an arrest warrant for the senator for a second time upon the end of the current parliamentary term scheduled for February 28. All lawmakers are legally immune to arrest by police during legislative periods.
Upakit has recently filed a libel lawsuit against the Move Forward MP who had accused the senator of involvement in money-laundering and drug-trading scams.
Upakit had been earlier accused by the police of involvement in the illegal businesses in connivance with Myanmar’s arms dealer, namely Tun Min Latt, who had been arrested alongside his son-in-law and two of his employees last year.
The senator who was among a total of 250 lawmakers handpicked by the 2014 coup junta under leadership of the then-army chief Prayut had been suspected by the police of involvement in the illegal businesses in connivance with the Myanmar arms broker who had supplied weapons and ammunition to Myanmar government troops.
But an arrest warrant earlier issued for Upakit who reportedly owned a casino and hotel under the name of Allure Group in Myanmar’s Tachileik township across the border from Mae Sai district was finally revoked by court.
Rangsiman commented the questionable, immediate transfer of the police superintendent in charge of investigating the money-laundering and drug-trafficking scam in suspected connection with the senator may have been designed to keep the prime minister who is top commander of the National Police from being held accountable.
The MP said he will shortly file a petition to the National Anti-Corruption Commission with purported pieces of evidence against the senator and others suspected of the money-laundering and drug-trafficking scam.
Top and Front Page: Move Forward MP Rangsiman Rome. Photos: Matichon