NACC investigates high-profile online gambling network case

Photo via Facebook/แก้ว เกลือสำเภาทอง

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has taken charge of a high-profile investigation into the alleged association of Deputy National Police Chief, Police General Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn, and four others with a large-scale online gambling network. The decision, backed by a majority vote during a commission meeting on Monday, was made public yesterday.

The NACC will also probe a connected case involving Pol. Col. Phakphum Phitsamai, a deputy chief investigator at Provincial Police Region 4, and seven others. They are accused of participating in the same online gaming network. The commission had earlier rejected a plea by the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau to examine the second case on grounds that Pol. Col. Phakphum was not deemed a high-ranking state official whose conduct falls under NACC’s jurisdiction.

However, a shift in the situation occurred on December 27 when police investigators indicated in a letter to the NACC that Big Joke and four others were implicated in accepting bribes from the online gambling network. This led to allegations of money laundering against them, according to the NACC.

The NACC was asked again on February 2 by the police investigation team if the commission would consent to handle the Big Joke case. This prompted the commission to call a meeting to deliberate on the matter.

Police Major General Charoonkiat Pankaew, deputy commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau, emphasised the NACC’s autonomy in choosing whether or not to investigate these cases. He stated that despite the NACC taking over both cases, police investigators are still free to delve into related criminal elements, including the money trail of the online gambling network. This could potentially lead to the identification and charging of more suspects, possibly including high-ranking police officials. reported Bangkok Post.

In related news, despite potential warnings from the NACC, the government proceeded with the 10,000-baht digital wallet scheme. The policy committee commenced work, addressing concerns about corruption and strategic planning.

Crime NewsThailand 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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