Phuket Police Dismantle Extensive Nominee Shareholder Network in ‘Operation Nominee Sweep’

PHUKET, Thailand – In a sweeping crackdown dubbed ‘Operation Nominee Sweep,’ the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) has arrested a total of 104 individuals, comprised of 67 Russian nationals and 37 Thais, for their involvement in a vast network of companies with foreign shareholders.

The operation, led by CIB Commissioner Lieutenant General Jirabhop Bhuridej, was disclosed to the media on Friday, May 31st. The investigation unearthed a staggering 1,603 companies registered with Russian shareholders since 2023, marking a fiftyfold increase from the annual average of 30 companies registered yearly recorded between 2016 and 2022.

The probe initially targeted a woman identified only as Mrs. Iana, a 45-year-old Russian national who has resided in Thailand legally since 2012. Mrs. Iana was found to be a shareholder in nine companies, including seven real estate firms and two service and tour operators, with a combined capital of 38 million baht. Furthermore, she is the owner of luxury condominiums and apartments valued at 900 million baht across three projects in Phuket.

The arrest of Mrs. Iana and her Thai associate, Ms. Treethip, led to the broader apprehension of 231 suspects linked to the nominee operations.

Among the detainees, 98 are foreigners, including the aforementioned Russians, along with 4 Chinese, 3 Ukrainians, 3 Indians, 3 Pakistanis, 3 South Koreans, 2 Italians, 2 Singaporeans, 2 Syrians, 2 Germans, 2 Turks, 1 Georgian, 1 American, 1 Kyrgyzstani, 1 Swiss, and 1 Belarusian.

‘Operation Nominee Sweep’ signifies a significant step in Thailand’s efforts to combat illegal business practices and enforce regulations regarding foreign business ownership. The CIB’s ongoing investigations aim to ensure compliance with Thai laws and maintain the integrity of the nation’s economic landscape.

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Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for more than four years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.