600 Million Baht Casino Busted in Bangkok4 weeks ago
On November 2, the Thai Cyber Crime Investigation (CCI) officers conducted a raid on the illegal online gambling firm "UFAV8" in Bangkok.
As part of a crackdown on foreign criminals, the police went after the Outlaws motorcycle gang who were known to be involved with illegal gambling, among other crimes such as drugs and human trafficking.
Going After the Mastermind
The alleged mastermind behind the online gambling website was publicly identified as Mr. Paramate Tangsakun, 41, and was arrested in the Sukhumvit area, Watthana, Bangkok.
He was reportedly the boss of Outlaws Thailand, a sub-branch of International Outlaws which has members all over the world and is known to operate in tourist areas such as Pattaya and Phuket.
The gambling network provided football bets, slots, and other games for more than three years with more than 10,000 registered users in the system, and it was estimated that the annual revenue was 600 million baht.
The police have also sought warrants to arrest 10 other Thai nationals who were involved in the operation as employees and accountants.
However, these 10 individuals were reported to have fled to Poipet, Cambodia, where they continue to run illegal gambling operations.
The police seized assets worth more than 150 million baht in the bust on UFAV8. The Thaiger reported:
During the raid, officers confiscated Paramate’s assets worth over 150 million baht including a Chevrolet Camaro, Mercedes-Benz S500, Harley-Davidson Softail Springer, Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic, Triumph Rocket, 45 luxury watches, gold necklaces, valuable amulets, designer brand bags, two shotguns, and a pistol.
Thailand Government Continues to Fight Illegal Gambling
This latest bust comes straight off the back of a high-profile raid in September that saw “celebrity” cop Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn hauled in front of his superiors under suspicion of links to gambling websites.
The Bangkok Post reported:
A sprawling investigation across six provinces saw Swat teams raid some 30 locations, including deputy national police chief Surachate Hakparn’s central Bangkok house.
Police Major-General Trairong Phiwpan said the case was focused around an illegal gambling website called Betflix and its 12 subsidiary sites.
Thai PBS reported that Hakparn’s finances had been looked into and a connection was allegedly found to former president of Lamphun Warrior Football Club, Pongsiri “Tarn” Ratchawongsuek.
Tarn had previously been arrested for operating an online gambling site called TS911.com and laundering the proceeds through his football team.
Hakparn accused his colleagues of political maneuvering and of holding information from the warrant issuing court. He said they did not tell the judge that he occupies the five houses that were raided, saying they would have acted differently if they knew who they were dealing with!
"This means that the national police chief did not give the (search) order... I confirm that I will take legal action against everyone involved in the incident... I am sure that someone ordered it... It is about politics within the Royal Thai Police Office.”