Thai police bust nationwide gambling franchise with 500 websites

The Nation Thailand
Thai police bust nationwide gambling franchise with 500 websites
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Crime Suppression Division (CSD) police launched 63 simultaneous raids in 14 provinces to bust a large online gambling network with over 100 franchises and 500 websites, police announced on Monday.

The simultaneous raids were directed by CSD commander Maj Gen Montree Theskhun from the Provincial Police Bureau’s training centre in Khon Kaen.

Over 350 officers from several police agencies took part in the so-called Operation Hanuman to Take Down Online Casino Mafia.

The raids were focused on Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Phitsanulok, Mahasarakham, Saraburi and Sa Kaew provinces.

Montree said the operation was launched after CSD police arrested 30 suspects across 10 provinces in raids against the Fat Fast online gambling network on September 22.

The September 22 operation seized 400 assets worth 460 million baht. Suspects then told investigators that Fat Fast merely managed finances for the owner of a larger network of online gambling franchises.

The information led to three big police raids in Khon Kaen, starting with a house owned by the network’s suspected co-head, Suwat (surname withheld). Police seized valuables including a collection of ultra-pricey Bearbrick collectible dolls but found no sign of Suwat.

They also raided the house of Suwat’s mother-in-law, identified as Sumalee (surname withheld), who was taken into custody. Items seized at the house included valuables and a gun, Montree said.

At the third spot, police swooped on the house of the network’s other suspected boss, identified as Praphut (surname withheld). He wasn’t at home but police seized a collection of over 100 Bearbrick dolls at the house.

Montree said the network had been systematically established with clear-cut marketing, administration, accountancy, financial management, and website maintenance divisions.It had been operating for over 10 years and sold 109 franchises which had recruited about 2,000 people to staff some 500 gambling websites, he added.

Police have obtained 23 arrest warrants for suspects, including the co-bosses, people in charge of bank accounts to make transactions and those hired to open the bank accounts.

Other suspects include the team of programmers for the websites and people hired to transfer money via ATM machines.

Montree said police had already made arrests but did not elaborate.

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