Chiang Rai police bust online gambling ring worth 200 million baht

Image courtesy of Khaosod

A clandestine online gambling ring operating out of Chiang Rai was dismantled by Thai police, revealing a sophisticated operation led by a group of young locals who had rapidly amassed wealth. A police operation today, May 10, resulted in the arrest of 33 year old Kittipong and his 36 year old wife Marisa along with their associates and a dozen other individuals.

The operation, led by high-ranking police officials, was the culmination of a months-long investigation triggered by local suspicions. Residents reported that despite having no clear occupations, certain individuals were living extravagant lifestyles.

After a thorough investigation into these reports, which began in April 2023, authorities uncovered the illegal gambling website named AK1688, managed by an organised group with clearly defined roles.

The police seized a variety of assets, including nine cars of various makes, two motorcycles, around 1 million baht in cash along with a money counting machine, 18 bankbooks, four land titles, and dozens of other valuable items, totalling an estimated value of 40 million baht.

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The financial probe revealed that in less than two years, the operation had seen about 200 million baht in transactions, and the ringleaders were even planning to shift their base to Laos to evade capture.

Upon receiving the warrants, the police conducted raids across eight locations in Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Nong Khai, and Nakhon Pathom. This resulted in the apprehension of 16 suspects and the confiscation and seizure of assets worth over 40 million baht in total.

Initially, the suspects denied the charges, but they have been handed over to the investigative officers and will face charges of being an accomplice, jointly organising online gambling (baccarat, slots) through electronic media, and conspiring with two or more persons to commit money laundering, reported Khaosod.

The swift action of Thai law enforcement highlights the ongoing battle against illegal online gambling operations. It demonstrates the importance of community vigilance and the effectiveness of police work in responding to such illicit activities.

The case also underscores the complexities of modern criminal enterprises and the need for authorities to stay abreast of the digital landscape where such operations thrive.

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