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Deputy PM Prawit backtracks after denying existence of Bangkok gambling dens

Maya Taylor

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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

 

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Peter

    Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 11:01 am

    Brilliant photo Thaiger.
    Sums up the story and Thailand perfectly.
    Apparently, tourists are being asked to leave Koh Tao and ferries cancelled to Koh Samui etc.
    Someone tell these Thai inbreeds that this virus is here to stay. It will appear every winter, vaccine or no vaccine.
    Just so our readers know, the more effective the vaccination campaign, the more pressure is put on the virus to mutate.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 11:23 am

      … and the relevance of that to the article is what?

      Yet another example of comments that are nothing more than “hate speech” and “misinformation” that contribute nothing to this otherwise excellent site.

    • Avatar

      Timsahb

      Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 11:58 am

      No one has been asked to leave Koh Tao. Ferries have temp stopped and screening will be done when they start again. Koh Tao has a large ex pat population and no covid so its pretty pleasent here.

    • Avatar

      Jean-Pierre

      Friday, January 8, 2021 at 12:43 am

      Peter, I understand the first 2 sentences.
      And then … nothing.
      I expected some explanations, clarifying why you think it is a “brilliant photo” and why it “sums up the story and Thailand perfectly”.
      Your other points are out of context. It can be true, I don’t know, but I do know that what you say is not related to the article and I miss your point …

  2. Avatar

    Alte Ledertasche

    Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 11:02 am

    Whole Thailand is a missunderstanding.

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 2:18 pm

    He is saying: Oh my Buddha I forgot to wind up my top of the range expensive watches and I will have to reset all the times now!
    Er, I mean my 50 top of the range expensive watches that were LENT to me . . .

  4. Avatar

    Richard

    Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 5:37 pm

    Hush money hides there existence

  5. Avatar

    Pedro

    Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 5:38 pm

    The main point in this article that stands out for me is the practice in Thailand of transferring police officers who are under-performing in their roles as Managers or Operational Commanders. This appears to be preferable to Senior Managers instead of demoting and re-training them (if they were ever trained for their roles in the first place) or maybe even firing them as they seem to be unable to fulfil a police management role, although endemic corrupt practices may be a part of that particular problem. When you transfer someone, you are simply passing your problem onto someone else, instead of taking proper remedial action to solve the problem.

  6. Avatar

    Issan John

    Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 6:49 pm

    In practice those “transferred” are moved to “inactive posts” or posts where they have next to no responsibility; it’s not just saving face for the individual but also for those who were responsible for putting them there.

    While it obviously doesn’t apply to the post of provincial police chief, rank here doesn’t always mean “Senior Manager”, etc. One of the Bib I knew told me he was doing the same admin job as a Police Special Colonel / Brigadier / Commander that he did as a Captain / Chief Inspector.

  7. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 11:50 pm

    It also means they save there pension at the seniority level they have achieved.It goes on in the west also but it is a bit more transparent in asia that’s all.

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      Friday, January 8, 2021 at 10:55 am

      Yes a Manchester police chief recently retired before he was fired to keep his pension.
      Manchester police were not recording crime reports.

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