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Illegal casino operator accused of 4 charges including murder

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: An illegal casino operator now faces murder charges. (via Flickr/Jun)

A man who is alleged to have been running illegal casino operations is now facing indictment on 4 charges, including murder. The Crime Suppression Division has called for the charges to be filed against Somchai Jutikitdecha, the 56 year old suspect that goes by Longjoo Somchai.

The CSD first arrested Longjoo back in February of 2020, accusing him of being involved in illegal casinos. These venues played a big role in spreading Covid-19 outbreaks throughout the Eastern Region as gamblers contracted the virus in the illegal betting halls and it proliferated from there.

In recent months as the Covid-19 pandemic drags on, police have been busting more and more illegal gambling operations, though the majority are online.

Following that arrest, Longjoo has also been alleged to have broken other laws and the CSD is now pushing for prosecution on 3 other counts including murder. They charge that he violated the emergency decree which forbids all public gatherings. Additionally, he stands accused of money laundering.

The most serious charge now though, is new evidence that he is believed to have ordered a hit on a 47 year old motorbike taxi driver. The taxi driver was gunned down in Pattaya last year on July 28, and police now suspect that his assassination was ordered by Longjoo as retribution.

The CSD allege that Longjoo believed it was a tip-off from this motorbike taxi driver that led to the police raiding his casinos and shutting them down. This alleged act of retaliation led to the most serious charge of murder to be levied against the casino operator.

Investigators in the case feel confident that they have gathered enough supporting evidence to build a very strong case against Longjoo, and as such, the Crime Suppression Division has put in their recommendation that he be indicted on all four charges of illegal gambling, violating the emergency decree, money laundering collusion, and now murder.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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