Court dismisses gambling, money laundering charge against Long Joo Somchai

Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post.

The Criminal Court has dismissed a third gambling and money laundering charge against Somchai Jutikitdecha, also known as “Long Joo” Somchai, due to insufficient evidence. The case also involved his company and five other defendants, including Somchai’s son.

Somchai was arrested in February 2021 at his home in tambon Mueang Phra, Rayong’s Muang district, following police raids on 10 locations in the eastern province to crack down on an illegal gambling network. He was also accused of laundering approximately 232.746 billion baht in the property market.

During yesterday’s hearing, the court found that witness testimony portrayed Somchai as a loan shark, while the investigation into his financial situation focused on income derived from illegal gambling. Prosecutors were unable to provide credible evidence to support their allegations regarding the sources of the defendant’s wealth, leading to the dismissal of the charges.

However, the prosecutors did manage to specify the amounts of money sent to Warawut Worawutpreechawet and Napassorn Pruprong, the fifth and sixth defendants in the case, who were both charged with money laundering.

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In addition to this case, Somchai has faced prosecution in connection with the alleged contract killing of 47-year-old motorcycle taxi rider, Prathum Sa-adnak, who was shot dead behind Muang Pattaya 8 School in Pattaya on July 28, 2020. The Criminal Court dismissed this case on November 10 and December 22 of last year, but these rulings are currently being appealed.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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