BANGKOK – Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha Monday rejected a proposal from the deputy prime minister to set up a special committee to crack down on mafia-style gangs nationwide.
Gen Prayut said he saw no need to set up such a committee, as existing laws are sufficient. He said that instead of creating a new body, he wanted authorities to strictly enforce existing laws to suppress organized crime.
“The laws are there, searches and arrests will be conducted in compliance with the legal process,” Gen Prayut said.
Gen Prayut insists the crackdown is not intended to target any political groups, but will curb crime and arms trafficking.
His comments came after Defence Ministry spokesman Maj Gen Khongcheep Tantrawanich said on Monday that Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon wanted to set up the committee to eradicate mafia-style crime.
The committee would work under the supervision of Gen Prawit, Maj Gen Khongcheep said at a meeting of the Defence Council, chaired by Gen Prawit.
Stemming the rising power of crime syndicates is an urgent priority, said Maj Gen Khongcheep. “The government aims to enforce the law to crack down on influential figures and the use of war weapons. The operation requires cooperation from state agencies and the public,” he added.
The armed forces must work with the state sector and people’s networks to find clues about mafia-style gangs, he said.
After coming to power in May last year, the NCPO vowed to stamp out organized crime, particularly by influential figures. Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha recently declared a new crackdown on mafia crime, as the problem is still rampant throughout the country .