CrimeEntertainment

Thai soap star arrested on porn and gambling charges

Thai soap star Thamolphan Phanuchitputthiwong, better known as “Yam” Thamonphan, has been arrested along with her computer-whizz husband Phumphat Prasertwit.

The celeb couple is accused, along with another man, Chetchai Hongkham, of operating porn and gambling sites, among a string of related offences.

They were arrested at a house in the Bang Krui district of Nonthaburi on Thursday.

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Yam, a former TV star, made headlines in March when she escaped a fire at the Soneva Kiri resort on Koh Kut in Trat in March.

Police grabbed 14 cars, houses and watches belonging to the couple which they will hang on to until deciding how to proceed against the fruity threesome.

The couple appears to have access to almost unlimited funds and love to show off their immense wealth in the most shameless ways. They have quite a penchant for the gas-guzzling monsters enjoyed by the super-selfish super-rich. They include a BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes and a Porsche.

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Police also took time out to collect the couple’s luxury watches including a Richard Mille, Patek Philippe, Rolex and Omega, along with a collection of brand-name bags that would make Victoria Beckham blanch.

A shedload of computers and phones along with details of 44 bank accounts and other assets completes the haul, not forgetting the couple’s four beautiful houses, fresh off the pages of Hello magazine.

Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej, commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB), told reporters that the combined worth of the seized assets was over 700 million baht (US$20 million).

Jirabhop’s officers have spent more than two years investigating gambling at www.ufa24h.net and porn at hd.star4k.com. The money trail leads directly to the many doors of Phumphat and Thamolphan. The couple directly benefitted from membership fees and gambling via the websites. Bagman Chetchai collected the money and helped Phumphat clean it.

According to Jirabhop, Chetchai made cash withdrawals totalling 400 million baht between April and September this year on the orders of Phumphat.

The couple’s gambling site has about 40,000 members, with 7 billion baht in monthly turnover.

Phumphat, Chetchai and, 40 others were detained under arrest warrants issued by the Criminal Court on December 13 for colluding in disseminating pornographic material, organising online gambling or enticing people to gamble online, conspiring to commit money laundering and colluding in laundering money.

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Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career, Jon is now semi-retired, living in a quiet village in Krabi province, Thailand. He continues to write and is an avid traveler and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.