More arrests as investigation into a widespread online betting ring continues
Police in Thailand report a widening investigation into an online betting ring that generated possibly billions of baht through illegal wagering on international football matches, according to the Thai media.
In November two senior police officers, Lt General Pongpat Chayaphan, a former commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau, and his former deputy Pol Maj-General Kowit Wongrungroj were arrested on allegations of corruption, extortion and involvement with an Indian businessman in the ring.
The two officers were removed from their posts and are currently being held in a Bangkok prison.
Senior police spokesman Lt-General Prawut Thawornsiri told reporters over the weekend that more arrest warrants have been obtained for the detention of three more police suspects in the case, Colonel Worraphoj Pheutphol, Lt-Colonel Songsak Khunsri and Withoon Trakarnphruek.
The spokesman added that further charges of bribery will be added to those facing Pongpat Chayaphan and Kowit Wongrungroj following further investigations.
Media recaps on the issue reveal that Pongpat Chayaphan allegedly led a 2009 police investigation which resulted in the arrest of an Indian businessman for involvement in an online gambling organisation with turnover of billions of baht.
Pongpat, then commander of the Crime Suppression Division, arrested property developer Karan Singh Thakral for hosting Internet football gambling that was part of a wider ring operated by Abubakar bin Sulaiman that generating wagers of around 3.2 billion baht.
It is alleged that over a billion baht (about $30 million) in cash and valuables was seized by police when they searched Pongpat's home following his arrest.
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