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Coronavirus

Coronavirus exposes Thai military's off-the-books enterprises

Cluster infection at army-owned Muay Thai stadium draws scrutiny

A competitor in traditional Muay Thai boxing kicks an opponent during a match at Rajadamnern Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand on March 12 (Photo by Akira Kodaka) 

BANGKOK -- The deadly new coronavirus has struck a thriving business arm of Thailand's powerful military, laying bare what critics call a culture of impunity that has protected these money-spinners from public scrutiny for decades.

Public health officials have fingered the military-owned Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok as the source of one of the country's largest clusters of COVID-19 infections -- over 50 out of the 1,388 cases reported as of last weekend across Thailand. Officials fear there could be up to 130 new infections from this cluster based on the people who have the virus after coming into contact with spectators infected at the event.

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