Online gambling

500 online gambling sites targeted by CSD raids

On Monday morning, police from the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) raided a house in Muang district of Khon Kaen, as part of an operation against operators of illegal gambling sites. (Picture: Police)

Police from the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) on Monday launched a massive operation, dubbed “Hanuman against the online casino mafia”, against gambling sites based in 14 provinces.

The operation, led by CSD Pol Commander Maj Gen Montree Thetkhan, involved around 350 police officers and targets 63 locals in 14 provinces across the country – Khon Kaen, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phitsanulok, Maha Sarakham, Saraburi, Sa Kaeo, Sakon Nakhon, Phuket, Nonthaburi, Rayong, Samut Prakan, Ratchaburi and Buri Ram. Khon Kaen was the command center of the network.

In Khon Kaen, there were three targets.

The first was a duplex on about 1 rai of land at Chonlada Housing Estate, Moo 4, tambon Ban Pet, Muang district. Police officers armed with a warrant issued by the criminal court for the arrest of Suwat Thanasarnwiwat, alias Sia Ko, 41, searched the house. Mr. Suwat was not there. Her older sister and brother-in-law were at home when the police arrived.

Police found and confiscated numerous valuables, including around 100 Bearbrick figurines.

The second target was a house in the Papirom housing estate, Moo 23, in Tambon Ban Pet. Police had a warrant from the criminal court to arrest Sumalee Lertkijpaisal, 45, on charges of illegally operating online gambling sites and money laundering. Ms. Sumalee is Mr. Suwat’s mother-in-law. She was taken into custody.

Police found a safe containing valuable amulets, registration books, a pistol and other valuables, which were confiscated.

The third target was a house on 2-rai with a large swimming pool at Moo 16 in tambon Ban Pet, where police had a criminal court warrant to arrest 47-year-old Praput Latthisungnoen, alias Sia Nook, on charges of illegally logging sites online gambling and money laundering.

Mr. Praput was not at home. Police seized numerous valuables, including approximately 100 Bearbricks, and also found expansion rooms on the ground and upper floors used for bitcoin mining.

Pol Maj Gen Montree, the CSD commander, said Monday’s operation followed a September 22 crackdown when the CSD took down the gambling websites of a network called Fat Fast in 10 provinces. During this operation, 30 suspects were arrested and about 400 assets worth about 460 million baht were seized.

It was later learned that Fat Fast was part of a larger gambling network operating across the country.

Fat Fast had been in business for over 10 years, with Mr. Praput and Mr. Suwat allegedly major investors. The network operated like a business and was divided into several departments such as marketing, administration, accounting and finance.

It was run as franchises. Fat Fast had 109 franchisees and employed approximately 2,000 people.

The Fat Fast network suspects who were arrested said that 7-10 million baht was transferred daily to investors.

Pol Maj Gen Montree said the CSD has warrants for the arrest of 23 key suspects and for the search of approximately 60 targets across the country.

A large amount of assets were seized from suspects arrested on Monday, in particular Ms Sumalee, including land and luxury cars.

The operation was aimed at shutting down about 500 online gambling sites controlled by Fat Fast, Pol Maj Gen Montree said.