More than 20 people were arrested and nearly $3 million in assets were seized in two police operations in Thailand earlier this week. The first operation took place in a townhouse located in Hat Yai district on Monday. A day later, on Tuesday, a second police raid in four lower northeastern provinces took place.
16 Gamblers Busted, Face Charges for Breaching COVID-19 Rules
Police raided a house in Hat Yai district and arrested multiple individuals that had gathered to gamble, according to The Bangkok Post. Overall, sixteen people were arrested by the police. Those individuals now face charges for gambling.
Some 14,400 baht ($426) in cash, as well as 15 decks of cards, were seized by police officers as evidence. Police authorities revealed that there were five men and 11 women that all gathered in a room to gamble. The room was air-conditioned but had no outside ventilation, which posed a high risk for spreading COVID-19.
Besides gambling, by gathering together, the sixteen people breached COVID-19 regulations. Now all of them may face charges for illegal gathering in breach of the emergency decree for COVID-19 along with the gambling charges. One of the individuals may face further charges as he allegedly admitted that he organized the gambling.
Illegal Online Gambling Operation Taken Down
In another raid, police authorities searched premises in four provinces on Tuesday: Ubon Ratchathani, Nakhon Ratchasima, Si Sa Ket, and Surin, The Bangkok Post revealed. Overall, 10 premises that police believed were related to a website called “123plus” were raided. The website offered online betting, as well as online baccarat. During the raids, law enforcement arrested five suspects while three other individuals are still at large with police looking for them.
Five rifles, four pistols as well as more than 200 rounds of ammunition were seized during the raids. Police also seized various communication devices as well 14 luxury vehicles and nine motorcycles. The seized evidence costs approximately 100 million baht ($2,964,149). The five suspects arrested may now face charges related to running an illegal online gambling operation. Moreover, they may face charges related to money laundering.
Just like any other country, Thailand is looking to restrict the share of illegal and black-market gambling operations. The news about the two raids comes at a time when lawmakers in the country are considering opening casino resorts. However, for the moment it is unknown how many such venues would be opened and where those venues would be located.