Thai police dismantle 700 million baht online gambling ring

Picture courtesy of Siamrath

Thai police dismantled a substantial online gambling operation, discovering that three residential properties were used to facilitate the illegal activity. The raid led to the apprehension of the site’s owner and several administrators, revealing a vast network that had been operational for seven years with financial transactions exceeding 700 million baht.

Today, April 25, a combined force of high-ranking police officials, led by Police Lieutenant General Worrawut Watanakunbancha, Chief of the Special Investigation Unit, executed search warrants issued by the Lampang Provincial Court at two residences in the Bo Haeo district of Lampang province. There, they arrested 41 year old Punika and 28 year old Kotchakorn on warrants issued by the Chiang Mai Provincial Court.

In a closely coordinated operation, the police confiscated a variety of assets, including three houses, four cars, four motorcycles, and over 200,000 baht (US$5,400) in cash, as well as luxury items such as designer bags and jewellery, amounting to a value of over 20 million baht (US$540,000).

According to Police Major General Jitiphan Pholphrueksa, Chief of the Special Investigation Unit 4, the suspects confessed during interrogation. They had previously worked as public relations staff in a casino in Poipet, Cambodia, before returning to Thailand, where they were persuaded by a relative to operate an online gambling franchise in collaboration with the Cambodian casino owners.

Related news

The investigation unearthed that the accused had been earning a commission of 10 to 20% from the gambling site’s revenue, with a customer base extending to over 5,000 people, including Thai and Cambodian nationals. The turnover from these operations was reported to be over 700 million baht (US$19 million).

Additionally, three administrators were employed with salaries ranging from 8,000 to 14,000 baht (US$215 to 380). A fourth suspect, 39 year old Pratthana, is currently being sought as an alleged mule account holder for the operation.

Illegal gambling

Simultaneously, another team of officers carried out searches at two companies, one in Lampang and another in Chiang Mai, after intelligence indicated that they were involved in sending SMS messages that promoted illegal gambling websites.

The first company was found to be sending up to 1 billion SMS messages annually, generating an income of 100 million baht (US$2.7 million), while the second sent around 40 million messages per year, earning an income of 4 million baht (US$108,000), reported KhaoSod.

The police statement highlighted the proactive measures taken to disrupt the cycle of online gambling, which acts as a catalyst for easy access to betting platforms. The Special Investigation Unit has pledged to continue to target illicit gambling websites, SMS marketing companies, and their wider networks, in line with the national policy against online crime as directed by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and Deputy National Police Chief Worrawut.

Crime NewsThailand News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

Related Articles