Online casino bust in Bangkok

IT Ministry and police collaborate in Internet betting action

Police from the Thai Crime Suppression Division (CSD) and the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology successfully partnered in a raid on an Internet gambling ring, ICT Minister Ranongruk Suwunchwee revealed this week.

The raid, which took place in the Ubon Ratchathani's Muang district, resulted in the arrest of four suspected operators and the seizure of over 19 million baht in cash, computer equipment, business records and other items, reports the Bangkok Post. Those arrested were Aksarin Chusetthawong (46); Chomphoonut Mee-yam (28); Palida Yaemphum (37), and Aphinya Phaluk (33).

Colonel Thanai Aphichatsenee, who led the CSD team executing the raid, said the four persons detained had admitted to running a call centre to serve online gamblers on their website for almost four years, taking bets from around 100 customers a day.

The call centre operated in partnership with a gambling ring in an unidentified neighbouring country, and operations generated about 10 million baht in cash each day.

Gamblers on the website had to register and transfer cash to the savings account of a woman identified as Sulakkhana Sitthiphon, apparently the website owner, before they could gamble. After transferring cash to this account, gamblers would receive a user name and password through an SMS on their mobile phones. Bets on casino-style games ranged between 100 and 5 000 baht.

In preparing a case against the ring, a CSD operative registered and became a customer, and in the following two months evidence against the ring was built up by the investigating team prior to the raid.

A police spokesman told the Bangkok Post that further arrests could be expected soon as more information emerged and the seized financial records were analysed for criminal activity.

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