CHIANGRAI TIMES – A criminal gang based in Russia has established its influence on the tourist island of Phuket with help from local officials, MP Chuvit Kamolvisit said on Thursday.
Mr Chuvit, a Rak Thailand Party list MP, said the gang, called “Spachiba”, used Phuket to launder dirty money by encroaching on national forests and investing in luxury housing estates and five-star hotels.
This gang of Russian nationals was able to run this money-laundering business with the help of land and administrative officials and police, he said.
The opposition Rak Thailand Party leader said the gang had also open a large casino called “Tiger” in soi Saen Sabai in the heart of the Patong area.
Tiger was the largest casino in the South with a daily turnover of more than 100 million baht, he said.
Mr Chuvit said “Thung Thong” is another casino run by Russians in Phuket.
The two casinos made a daily payment to local and immigration police, he added.
The former massage parlour tycoon said he would ask the House committee on police affairs to investigate.
The national police chief and Region 8 Provincial Police chief as well as the provincial governor should seriously look into this matter, he said.