6 June 2024

Deputy Interior Minister Chada Thaised has announced that the crackdown of Mafia-style influential figures in Thailand must start in his home province of Uthai Thani.

Chada has been assigned by Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul to take charge of suppressing influential figures across the country, in the wake of the shootings in Nakhon Pathom over a week ago, when a highway police officer was killed and another injured in the house of Praween Chanklai, aka “Kamnan Nok”, who is known to be an influential figure in the province, reputed to have connections with many police officers.

In a recent TV interview, Chada said he knows influential figures from the inside, because he used to be one of them, adding, however, that none of them are “ to big to fit through the gates of prison”.

He said that good influential people, who help people or perform good deeds, are acceptable. Bad ones, though, must be dealt with according to letter of the law.

Claiming that he knows all 70+ village and sub-district heads and chiefs of Tambon Administration Organisations (TAOs) in Uthai Thani, several of whom are known to be influential figures, he said that he will call a meeting with them and to tell them to refrain from illegal activities in which they may be involved.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Anutin said he has been instructed by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin to get tough with such people and the problem of them illegally carrying firearms in public.

According the Interior Ministry, an “influential figure” is defined as someone who is involved in the any of the following:

  • Extending informal loans to other people
  • Involvement in price collusion in bids for government contracts
  • Demanding protection fees from businesses or public transport
  • Contraband smuggling
  • Illegal gambling
  • Trafficking of illegal immigrants
  • Luring workers to work abroad
  • Debt collection through coercion or intimidation
  • The sex trade
  • Hired gunmen
  • Encroachment on public land
  • Destruction of natural resources
  • The illegal narcotics trade
  • Arms trafficking