MOVE FORWARD party-list MP Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn said today (Aug. 1) that while the owners of a fireworks warehouse that exploded in Narathiwat province last Saturday are now facing legal action, this does not get to the root cause of the problem which is raking in bribes from various grey businesses, Matichon newspaper said.
The deadly explosion of the warehouse filled with firecrackers in Muno market killed 12 people with 115 others being injured while around 300 houses were damaged.
Police are gathering evidence to arrest the couple who owned the fireworks warehouse, Mr. Sompong Nakun, 42, and his wife Ms. Piyanut Puengwirawat, 42.
However Wiroj said in his Facebook post that local people knew full well operators of grey businesses in the area, such as smuggling, human trafficking and illegal drug trade among others, were coerced to pay bribes.
They mentioned that these bribes were collected by a person known as Sergeant F.
It is not difficult for the Interior Minister and the Police Chief to find out all these details and root out the whole network, he said, then questioning how it was possible for a fireworks warehouse to be located in the middle of a community without the authorities being aware of it.
The owners of this warehouse had been arrested in 2016 so the police and security officers cannot deny knowing about it.
Oppressing and bullying people in the three southern provinces only makes them scared, he warned, adding that wherever there is oppression resistance becomes a duty.
Wiroj also mentioned that he will be raising this problem for debate at the House meeting on Thursday Aug. 3 in the hope that the Provincial Administration Department, the Police Chief and the Commander of the Fourth Army Region become aware of bribery and extortion taking place in Narathiwat and all three southernmost provinces and stamp it out.
Top: An image of Move Forward MP Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn inset on the charred remains of the fireworks warehouse blast. Photo: Matichon
Front Page: The huge damage caused by the large amount of firecrackers exploding. Photo: Thai Rath