Thai government denies existence of mafia blacklist

Bangkok, Oct 24 (IANS) The Thai government has denied the existence of a blacklist of mafia-style influential figures, but a nationwide operation to locate military-grade weapons is set to be launched, the media reported on Saturday.

Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan on Friday made the announcement in response to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s recent order for national security agencies to rid Thailand of influential figures in six months, The Nation online reported.

Prawit, who is also defence minister, said he would discuss influential figures using military-grade weapons with the defence ministry, the interior ministry, the Royal Thai Police and National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

At a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Prayut gave the six-month deadline for related authorities to rid the country of mafia-style influential figures – be they politicians, soldiers, police or bureaucrats.

Prayut highlighted a case in which a woman’s house in Pathum Thani’s Thanyaburi district was fired at by suspected loan-shark debt-collectors on Sunday. No one was hurt in the attack.

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