Thailand Video News | Hundreds arrested in Thailand’s largest casino raid in history, 10,000 THB for every Thai citizen in digital wallet plan

In this video, Alex and Jay cover a series of recent developments, the government has given the green light to a contentious digital wallet initiative. Meanwhile, Thai authorities conducted one of the largest illegal casino busts in the nation’s history earlier this week, marking a significant crackdown on illicit gambling activities. Additionally, Thai officials successfully dismantled an illicit oil smuggling ring, underscoring ongoing efforts to combat unlawful practices. Amidst these enforcement actions, reports surfaced of Ukrainians and Russians convening in Phuket for illegal gambling activities, highlighting transnational concerns. Furthermore, another Russian woman has been apprehended for allegedly offering illegal sex services in Phuket, adding to the region’s enforcement challenges. Finally, the International Day of Happiness brought a sense of joy to the Land of Smiles yesterday, amidst ongoing efforts to address various societal issues.


The controversial digital wallet plan is getting the go ahead from government

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The Thai government has announced a budget proposal of 3.48 trillion baht ($96.5 billion) for the fiscal year, with plans to implement a 500-billion-baht ($13.8 billion) digital wallet scheme designed to give 10,000 baht to each of 50 million citizens over six months. Despite criticisms of fiscal irresponsibility, Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat confirmed the project’s progression, possibly requiring a parliamentary-approved loan. The budget, aiming for a 9.3% spending increase and a deficit reduction, still needs Senate approval and royal endorsement. Delays in the budget’s implementation have been attributed to political stalemate, with expectations for readiness by next month. Additionally, the government is investing in tourism development across four northern provinces, including the establishment of a new Tourism Authority of Thailand office in Phayao, emphasizing the region’s tourism potential.


One of the largest illegal casino raids in Thai history unfolded earlier this week


In Nonthaburi, Thailand, a significant police operation involving 100 officials targeted a large casino in the Bang Yai district, resulting in the arrest of approximately 300 individuals and the seizure of 60 million baht in cash and betting chips. Hidden behind a tall steel fence in the Phra Pin 3 housing estate, the casino was equipped with air-conditioned and VIP areas, around 60 surveillance cameras, and was undergoing expansion. Authorities, acting on complaints received since the casino’s opening last year, found gambling chips worth 50 million baht and 10 million baht in cash in a safe. The raid, described by provincial inspector-general Ronnarong Thipsiri as the largest of its kind, was meticulously executed, with all exits blocked to prevent escapes. Records uncovered during the operation revealed over 100 million baht in daily bets. Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, present during the raid, highlighted the casino’s apparent permanence and vowed to investigate potential negligence by local officials.


An illicit oil smuggling ring has been thwarted by Thai officials


Authorities in Sattahip, Thailand, acted on maritime intel about a significant oil smuggling operation off the coast, leading to the capture of five vessels and over 400,000 litres of illegal oil. All suspects involved are detained, with an expanded financial probe underway to break the smuggling network. This includes targeting both the smugglers and the high-level orchestrators behind the scenes. The operation, led by Pol Gen. Kraiboon Suadsong of the National Police Bureau’s Oil Smuggling Suppression Centre and executed by the Central Investigation Bureau under Pol. Lt. Gen. Jiraphop Puridet, signifies a concerted effort to tackle oil smuggling in the Gulf of Thailand. Puridet, who commanded the operation from the “Chaijinda” patrol vessel, plans to further the investigation at Sattahip Police Station, indicating a rigorous approach to dismantling the criminal enterprise.


Ukranians and Russians coming together in Phuket for… illegal gambling.

In the early hours of today, a combined operation by the Phuket Provincial Police and Phuket City Police led to the raid of an illegal gambling den in Ratsada, just north of Phuket Town, resulting in the arrest of four Russians and a Ukrainian. The raid, informed by an insider tip, targeted a location on Thepkrasattri Road near the main SuperCheap branch. The Ukrainian, Oleksandr Shpetnyi, acted as the dealer in a poker game involving the Russians Evgenii Vylegzhanin, Rodion Elonov, and Ruslan Kolontyrskii, while Ekaterina Morozova was caught exchanging chips for cash. Authorities confiscated over 647,525 baht in betting chips, a poker table, cards, electronics, and a ledger documenting bets. The operation revealed the use of chips and cryptocurrencies to obfuscate financial transactions and evade police detection. Following their arrest, the suspects were charged with engaging in or organizing illegal gambling, though Morozova denied her charges.


Yet another Russian woman has been detained for offering illegal sex services in Phuket


In Wichit, Phuket, a fourth Russian woman, 22-year-old Marina, has been arrested for engaging in illegal sexual services, marking the continuation of law enforcement’s crackdown on prostitution involving Russian nationals. Marina’s arrest at a local hotel on March 18 came as a result of a sting operation set up by Wichit Police, who acted on tips from concerned citizens about Russian sex workers. Utilizing an online platform, police arranged a meeting where Marina allegedly agreed to provide sexual services to an undercover officer. She now faces charges related to prostitution, advertising for prostitution, and working without a permit. Marina, who is in Thailand on a 90-day tourist visa expiring in May, now faces legal proceedings that put her stay in the country at risk.


The International Day of Happiness graced the Land of Smiles yesterday.


Thailand celebrates International Day of Happiness with an uplift in its global happiness index ranking, moving up two spots to 58th, though it still trails behind ASEAN neighbors Singapore, the Philippines, and Vietnam. This day, established by the United Nations on March 20 following Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness concept, emphasizes happiness as a crucial aspect of human endeavor and global welfare. With a focus on holistic well-being over material wealth, the UN advocates for happiness through policies promoting economic growth, social cohesion, and environmental care. The World Happiness Report of 2024 sees Thailand advancing in happiness, ranking fourth in ASEAN. The report highlights the importance of social connections and positive emotions for well-being, with countries like Finland and Denmark leading and Eastern European nations showing significant improvement.

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