Indian and Thai couple behind Pattaya’s busted casino

Casino bust, photo by The Pattaya News.

An Indian and Thai couple were behind the recently busted Pattaya casino, which saw 93 people arrested early on Monday morning.

The couple confessed to running the casino in a Pattaya hotel after being arrested, The Pattaya News reported last night. The couple, 32 year old Divyesh Ashokkumarr Pathar of Indian nationality, and 32 year old Sitranan Kaewlor of Thai nationality, admitted to police that they thought they could bribe law enforcement officers to turn a blind eye.

During a two-hour police interrogation, Divyesh and Sitranan reportedly admitted that they saw a business opportunity in operating a casino by targeting Indian tourists.

In response to a question of why they did not fear law enforcement, the couple claimed that they had paid two Thai men identified only as Phakin and Eak, who claimed they could bribe police to overlook their illegal casino operations.

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Divyesh and Sitranan stated that they had paid the two men more than 2.4 million baht for this service. However, it was later discovered that these claims were false, and the men, who are still on the run, were lying.

Over 93 people were arrested, 83 of whom were Indians. Those arrested are still in police custody, including the couple. Indian media reported that Chikoti Praveen, an infamous Indian casino organiser, is the ring leader of the unlawful gambling operations. He was also arrested on May 1 and is being questioned. Thai police, however, have not mentioned this allegation at all.

They stated that while they had been engaged in the Indian tour business for more than five years, they noticed that Indian people like to gamble.

Meanwhile, Pol. Col. Thanapong Phothi, Superintendent of the Pattaya Police Station, had already come out to deny the bribe allegations, though he promised serious legal action against any officers involved if found.

The suspects are being detained at the Pattaya Police Station, Nong Prue Police Station, and Banglamung Police Station.

Earlier, it was reported that the illicit gambling establishment had a financial circulation of over 1 billion rupees (418 million baht), according to the police’s findings. The casino was hidden in the Asia Hotel in Soi Pratumnak 4 in Pattaya, said police. To read the original report, click HERE.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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