UPDATE: Former Special Branch Officer names police involved in illegal casino operation


An ex-Special Branch Bureau officer has revealed the names of police involved in the operation of an illegal casino in Bangkok that was raided last Friday and denies he had any part of it.

Former Pol Lt Col Santana Prayoonrat was discharged from the police service 20 years ago after obstructing officers from making arrests in regards to an illegal casino in the Noi district of Bangkok. The 63 year old was also allegedly involved in a number of other shady business arrangements that involved extortion. But insists he is innocent of being part of this latest illegal racket.

Santana visited the Office of the Metropolitan Police Bureau yesterday to hand a letter of complaint to the Commissioner, Samran Boonma, after being accused of receiving benefits from the casino and being a middleman.

Santana denied the allegations and presented the name of a corrupt officer as the real middleman.

Santana claims the casino was operated by a relative of a high-profile police officer that welcomed only VIP gamblers. He alleges the casino was opened on June 9 and operated until it was raided last Sunday because a police inspector nicknamed “Tie” from the Patrol and Special Operation Division, took a bribe and supported it.

Santana revealed the casino paid the police 800,000 baht per table a month. The casino had 6 tables, so police were pocketing 48 million baht per month. He also claimed that more than 17 government departments were involved in the racket.

The former high-profile officer says the police involved in the illicit gambling den asked the casino to temporarily close because of strict measures launched by the institution’s hierarchy, but the operators refused, leaving officers no choice other than to raid it.

The Bangkok North Municipal Court imposed a penalty on 3 dealers of 3 months and 15 days in jail and a fine of 11,000 baht. The Thai gamblers faced a penalty of 15 days in prison and a fine of 11,000 baht.

The foreign gamblers were judged to have violated the Gambling Act, Immigration Act, and Thai Emergency Decree. They also faced a penalty of 15 days in jail and a fine at a different rate according to their nationalities.

Punishment was suspended for a year on all foreigners with no criminal histories but they are required to pay their fines within 30 days. If they fail to do so, they face a jail sentence of up to 1 year.

SOURCE: Thairath | Khaosod

ORIGINAL STORY:4.3 million baht seized in a police raid on illegal casino

A police raid that seized 4.3 million baht from an illegal underground gambling den has sparked a bizarre war of words between the authorities and a nongovernmental organisation.

More than 4.3 million baht was seized after police raided an illegal casino hidden on the underground floor of the Ayothaya Tower on Ratchadapisak Soi 18 in Huay Kwang district of Bangkok.

The Patrol and Special Operation Division Police were allegedly tipped off that the underground floor of the building was being used illegally for gambling purposes and made a swoop, arresting 52 Thai and foreign gamblers at the scene. Of those arrested 14 were Thai, 22 Chinese, 14 Burmese, and 2 Malaysian. The gamblers were charged with allegedly gambling for the possession of assets.

The President of the Help Crime Victim Club, Achariya Ruangrathanapong, yesterday made public on his Facebook account that he notified the police about the illegal gambling den. Bizarrely, the Metropolitan Police Bureau denied it and said Achariya wasn’t involved in the raid.

Achariya insists he has the information and pictures to prove it, and claims officers from Suttisan Police Station are trying to bury the case because the raid happened on Friday night and there was no announcement of it until he made the information public on Facebook yesterday. Only then did the police inform the media of the raid.

Archariya also asked why the area’s highest ranking officer is still in office. He says PM Prayut Chan-o-cha used to insist the relevant authorities would be dismissed, punished, or moved to other positions if they were reckless in these sorts of cases.

The Ayothaya Tower building, located near Sutthisan MRT Station, offers office space for rent and has residential-type units on several floors above.

The officer from the Patrol and Special Operation Division informed the media that an upcoming press release will explain everything about the raid.

SOURCE: Khaosod | Dailynews | PPTV HD

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger focusing on Thai news and what's happening in Thailand. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp.