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Warrants issued for police over links to online gambling

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Warrants issued for police over links to online gambling
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Arrest warrants have been issued for three suspects, including two police, in connection with an online gambling organization allegedly run by an Indian businessman with ties to disgraced and now-arrested former crime-buster Lt Gen Pongpat Chayaphan.

Gen Pongpat, former commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau, and his then-deputy Pol Maj Gen Kowit Wongrungroj were charged on Saturday for their alleged roles in the gambling operation run by Abubakar bin Sulaiman, National Police spokesman Lt Gen Prawut Thawornsiri said yesterday.

Gen Pongpat and Gen Kowit are in custody at the Bangkok Remand Prison.

The Abubakar operation reaped around 100 million baht from Thai punters through online betting, and police have found that Gen Pongpat and Gen Kowit had benefited from it, he said.

The three other suspects were identified as Pol Col Worraphoj Pheutphol, Pol Lt Col Songsak Khunsri and Withoon Trakarnphruek.

Gen Pongpat reportedly led police in 2009 to arrest an Indian businessman in 2009 accused of involvement in an online gambling organization with turnover of billions of baht.

Gen Pongpat, then commander of the Crime Suppression Division, arrested property developer Karan Singh Thakral at a luxury condominium on Thong Lor Soi 3. Thakral was then charged with hosting Internet football gambling.

Gen Pongpat, speaking in a press interview, said Thakral, 39, was part of the online gambling network of Abubakar bin Sulaiman.

The network’s turnover is alleged to be more than 3.2 billion baht, with police suspecting that the enterprise was also involved in more unspecified illicit businesses.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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