Thailand Seizes Nearly $50 Million in Assets From Detained Myanmar Arms Dealer

By The Irrawaddy 3 November 2022

Bangkok’s Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) and Thailand’s Office of the Narcotics Control Board have seized nearly 2 billion baht (about US$50 million) in assets from a drug network belonging to an arms dealer for the Myanmar regime who was arrested in the Thai capital recently.

Myanmar national Dr. Tun Min Latt, 53, was arrested in Bangkok in September along with three Thais.

Since then, the tycoon has been charged with conspiring to traffic narcotics and launder money.

On Thursday, The Bangkok Post reported that the seized assets, including money in a safe, cars, luxury items, hotels and resorts, were estimated at 1.8 billion baht, citing Police Major General Nitithorn Jintakanon, deputy chief of the MPB.

The MPB has now sent an asset seizure report to Thailand’s Narcotics Suppression Bureau.

Tun Min Latt  enjoys close ties with Myanmar regime leader Min Aung Hlaing and runs the Star Sapphire Group of companies, which brokered imports of Israeli reconnaissance drones and aircraft parts for the Myanmar Air Force.

The arms broker also has business connections with Thai Senator Upakit Pachariyangkun. Both were deeply involved in operating an illegal casino business in Myanmar’s Tachileik, a border town in Shan State near Thailand, profiting the Myanmar military.

Following Tun Min Latt’s arrest, Upakit insisted he was not involved in any “gray” business with the mogul.

However, one of the three Thais arrested along with the arms dealer was Dean Young Gultula, Upakit’s son-in-law.

Two additional Thai nationals, identified as Pannarong Khunpitak and Kallayawee Thiraprapawong, are wanted on arrest warrants as the MPB widens its net on the drug ring, The Bangkok Post said.

According to Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin, the tycoon’s case is one of two that authorities have been investigating since 2019.

The MPB plans to probe the tycoon’s tax records to try and recover the money through other channels if they cannot seize all the assets he owned.