Deputy PM Prawit backtracks after denying existence of Bangkok gambling dens

PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

Whoops. Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwon says his recent claim that there are no illegal gambling dens in Bangkok was all a misunderstanding. The nation’s favourite watch collector and Minister of Misunderstanding was forced to backtrack after the public scoffed and mocked his claims.

“I didn’t mean that gambling dens do not exist. We all know that there are gambling dens, but it is the duty of police to eradicate these illicit activities.”

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered an investigation into illegal gambling dens after a number of cases of Covid-19 were linked to such venues. 1 man, thought to have contracted the virus at a gambling establishment in the eastern province of Rayong, has died. The provincial police chief has since been transferred, as have 6 Bangkok police officers, following a raid on a gambling den in the capital.

Yesterday, Bangkok police carried out a significant number of arrests related to similar venues. Deputy Bangkok police chief Piya Tawichai says 94 people were arrested at a location in the Chaeng Watthana area, while another man, named as Amnuay Kiatdonmuang, was taken into custody in Don Muang and charged with organising gambling activities and employing illegal migrant workers.

In the first group of arrests, 13 people charged with being gambling hosts have been given 7 month prison sentences and fines of 15,000 baht, while 81 people were sentenced to 15 days’ imprisonment and also fined 15,000 baht. Meanwhile, Amnuay has been charged with organising gambling and hiring illegal migrant workers. Police are now trying to determine if he has been in contact with a group of 18 migrants, in which 7 have tested positive for Covid-19.

Police have also raided a gambling den in the Pinklao area after 2 employees tested positive for the virus while visiting Kanchanaburi, in western Thailand. Both have confessed to working at the illegal establishment.

Meanwhile, Bangkok’s deputy police chief, Piya, says officers have been busy raiding illegal gambling dens and arresting people for several months, but would not be drawn on how many venues are believed to still be operational in the capital.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Bangkok NewsCovid-19 NewsCrime News

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Maya Taylor

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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