Probe into ‘transnational crime syndicate’ continues as Thai officials head to Malaysia
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BANGKOK, July 23 — Officials from four Thai law enforcement agencies will be in Malaysia for two days beginning Tuesday as part of their ongoing probe on a Malaysian company accused of being an “transnational crime syndicate” in the Kingdom.
The officials will hold meetings with their Malaysian counterparts to gain more knowledge about the company, which has business operations in both countries.
“Upon returning from Malaysia, the four agencies will begin legal proceedings against the Malaysian company,” a high-ranking source who declined to reveal his identity told Bernama following a meeting at the Attorney General Office here, recently.
The meeting which took place last week lasted about an hour and a half, involving senior officers from various law enforcement agencies.
Four of the law enforcement agencies that will be heading to Malaysia are the Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), Anti Money Laundering Office (AMLO), Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) and Department of Special Investigation (DSI).
The Penang-based company with business operations in Malaysia and Thailand, especially in the southern provinces, has been under intense investigation by authorities in the two neighbouring countries for suspicious business activities.
In recent months, Malaysian authorities raided its premises and frozen bank accounts linked to the company.
According to the source, the Attorney General Office, DSI and AMLO are expected to “fire the first salvo” in levelling legal charges against the Malaysia company.
“The DSI’s charges will centre on the company’s business activities while AMLO on accusation of money laundering. Meanwhile, the Attorney General Office is expected to press charges related to ‘participation on transnational crime syndicate’,” he said.
Other agencies involved in the investigation on the company, such as ONCB, NSB, Department of Business Development, Revenue Department, Customs Department and Bank of Thailand (BoT) will continue with their probe.
“Whichever agencies that complete their investigation, they can proceed with the legal proceedings,” he said.
Meanwhile Dannok Mayor Kecha Benchakan, in an interview with Bernama recently, acknowledged that the Malaysian company was one of the biggest investors in the border town, providing much needed jobs to the locals.
He said, allegations levelled against the Malaysian company were unfounded and spread by irresponsible parties.
“As the local authority which was responsible for issuing licences and permits to the Malaysian company, I had scrutinised its investment and businesses. If the company “packs its bag” and leave Dannok, the town will be dead and no one will want to invest (in Dannok),” he said.
The founder of the Malaysian company, he said, was also appointed by the government agency responsible for developing southern Thailand, the Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre (SBPAC) last year as its economic and tourism advisor. — Bernama