Thailand and Cambodia Continue Crackdown on Illegal Gambling

Authorities in the ASEAN region continue to show their resolve against illegal gambling by shutting down operations and arresting illegal immigrants, 550 in Cambodia and 40 suspects in Thailand according to the latest crackdown as reported by Asia Gaming Brief.

Thailand’s Coordinated Raids

The Crime Suppression Division (CSD) in Thailand has reportedly seized more than THB460 ($12.1 million) in assets and cash following coordinated busts on 52 locations across ten provinces. Locations were suspected to be operating as part of a major online gambling network in the northeastern province of Khon Kaen.

The police also arrested over 40 people suspected of running an illegal gambling operation with a daily turnover of THB2 million ($52,700). According to the investigation, the websites opened by the gang three years ago feature over 50,000 gamblers.

The websites offered players several types of gambling while money deposits were made to the gang’s bank accounts linked to the websites. Upon deposits, the gang would quickly shift the money by withdrawing and depositing to other accounts to conceal the money trail.

During the raids, the police seized cash, bank cards, more than 200 bank books, 41 cell phones, and other property.

The latest crackdown followed a recent report by the Thai government which showed that the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society has successfully shut down 2,800 online gambling websites in the last 12 months.

Cambodia Continues Illegal Gambling Crackdown

Following the decision by Prime Minister Hun Sen to target gambling establishments in Cambodia that were reportedly linked to cases of human trafficking and kidnapping, Cambodian police arrested more than 550 foreign nationals within a week as part of the crackdown on illegal gambling.

According to several media reports, the arrest of 72 Chinese nationals and 82 Indonesians last week was followed on Sunday by the arrest of another 351 Chinese, 46 Vietnamese, 10 Malaysians, five Indians, and two Laotians, all from the city of Sihanoukville, the capital of Preah Sihanouk Province.

Of the 414 people arrested on Sunday, 168, among which 17 women, were found to be working without the appropriate authorization and documents. The immigration department of Cambodia fined 208 people among which 23 were women.

The Philippines are also addressing the rising levels of crime associated with online gambling by targeting POGO operators that have expired or revoked licenses. The country also said it would begin deporting Chinese nationals next month.

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