DSI Promised Crackdown On Russian Mafia In Phuket

(26 April) After receiving complaints about foreign “gangs” hiring Thai residents as nominees to open local businesses, prompting concerns of massive money laundering business, the DSI calls on units involved and private sectors for consultation on how to suppress the situation.

Pol. Colonel Yanpol Yungyuen , Standing Deputy Director of the Department of Special
Investigation (DSI), chaired a meeting between DSI officials and representatives from various organizations and business groups in Phuket about the issue and solution to the illegal foreign takeover of the all-in-one travel services.

Reports say the issue began with local business owners called for the DSI and agencies
associated with the implementation of Russian foreign companies that have taken jobs that rightfully belong to locals of Karon beach, Phuket and Bangtao beach, Talang. DSI had stepped in to examine the case on Feb 7th, with cooperation from local businesses.

Foreign businesses that have hired local nominees to conduct business for them may be punishable by Thai law to up to 3 years in prison or up to 1,000,000 baht fine.

Mr. Yaanpol says several witnesses have been interviewed and the proper organizations have been contacted to collect information and paperwork to do with the case. Foreign businesses from Russia and South Korea have taken over the one-stop travel services which include hotel booking services, car for hire services, restaurants, laundromats, and Thai massage and spa by hiring Thai citizens as nominees to open up shop.

According to official records, Phuket has foreign shareholders, which amounts to less than half, totaling at 3,336 shareholders. Evidence shows that these foreigners often disguise themselves as tourists.

The police colonel urged locals to immediately report any evidence, especially video clips and photographs, to the DSI for the proceedings. This case has now been earmarked for special investigation.