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PM Prayut Chan-o-cha calls bluff on claims that he benefits from illegal gambling

Caitlin Ashworth

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PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is calling bluff on claims that he is benefiting from illegal gambling and is ordering a crackdown on gambling after a cluster of Covid-19 infections were said to be linked to a den in Rayong. The outbreak linked to unlawful activities became a headache for health officials who have been trying to track down elusive gamblers to contain the virus.

With many compulsive gamblers hopping from venue to venue as the coronavirus continues to spread, the PM ordered an investigation aimed at shutting down the illegal venues and catching those running the establishments. He says illegal gambling as well as illicit drug trade and trafficking have been an ongoing problem in Thailand.

Some shot back at Prayut, claiming that he received gains from the illegal establishments. In a podcast today, Prayut said he was “surprised” at the claims, insisting that he has never received any gains from illegal gambling dens and that he “despises” people who try to bribe officials.

Prayut says there are some “bad officials” who have been bribed to allow illegal activities like gambling. In an earlier report, Prayut said the investigation committee, made up of officials from Thailand’s Security Department, Department of Special Investigation, the Anti-Money Laundering Office and Narcotics Control Board, will track down “influential figures” involved in the illegal activities.

A number of police officers are already under investigation to determine if they were involved in illegal gambling operations. In Bangkok, a police chief and 5 senior officers were transferred for alleged negligence of duty and are now being investigated. The officers were transferred following Thailand’s Central Investigation Bureau’s raid on a Bangkok gambling den where nearly 100 alleged gamblers were arrested.

Chon Buri and Rayong police chiefs were also both transferred after reports of Covid-19 cases linked to gambling dens in the provinces.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Michael

    Friday, January 8, 2021 at 10:49 am

    The bad thing is that if you always lie, no one believes you anymore, even if you were to tell the truth one day.

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, January 8, 2021 at 11:02 am

    Like the boy that cried wolf.
    These investigations are just for show.
    Look at the investigations of the corruptions into the Red Bull yob that killed a copper.
    Nothing came of it . . .
    The Red Bull killer is not even on the wanted Interpol list.

  3. Avatar

    Ian

    Friday, January 8, 2021 at 11:11 am

    The penalties are laughable. Transferring corrupt police officers to inactive positions (on full salary) is not scaring anybody. They belong in jail. Period.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, January 8, 2021 at 1:14 pm

      I doubt their salary is a major concern 🙂

  4. Avatar

    Pedro

    Friday, January 8, 2021 at 5:33 pm

    Remember New York anti-corruption cop Frank Serpico? As Frank Serpico said in his testimony to the Knapp Commission on corruption, ‘police corruption cannot exist unless it is at least tolerated at higher levels in the Department’. That means corruption starts higher up the chain because they tolerate it happening lower down. Is it possible that this is why corrupt officers in Thailand are transferred instead of being fired, or arrested and maybe jailed if found guilty? Are their bosses scared to fire them for this reason. It may be that it is not just a rotten apple in the barrel, but a rotten barrel affecting the apples. Just wondering.

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      Friday, January 8, 2021 at 11:52 pm

      Don’t wonder it is true . . .

  5. Avatar

    Roger

    Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 9:15 am

    Not sure if Thailand is considered the most corrupt nation
    However, I think it would be in the top 5
    From the Highest to the lowest Gov official
    One day change will come to Thailand but it will need Western Powers to back this and that means go against China (Thailand,s mother ) …So I think poor Thailand people are stuck in their lot
    Sad … Maybe one day they will say enough is enough

    Good Luck Thailand

  6. Avatar

    Suua

    Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 9:21 am

    When you grow up in a society where lying is accepted and part of everyday life……how can you believe anything that comes out of this vile little mans mouth.

  7. Avatar

    pew

    Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    Until a uniformed high standard of education is available to all kids in Thailand corruption will not stop. The first step to achieve this is to employ intelligent teachers to teach the teachers.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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