Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Police ex-chief files complaint over FB page linking him to a casino

Mar 22. 2017
File photo: Former police chief Somyot Poompanmoung
File photo: Former police chief Somyot Poompanmoung
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By The Nation

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Former police chief Somyot Poompanmoung on Wednesday filed a police complaint against a Facebook page that accused him of jointly investing with a politician in a new casino on the Thailand-Cambodia border near Buri Ram province.

The former chief also claimed that the page referred to a noble figure in opening the casino.

The Royal Police’s Technology Crime Suppression division received his complaint.

Somyot said the page, which used the acronyms, S and P, suggested that he had taken part in the opening of the casino. 

Somyot insisted that he had no role in it and he had never run any business in Cambodia.

He said what had caused him the most concern was the allegation that he had referred to a noble figure, and that’s the reason why he had filed a police complaint.

The opening of the new casino came under the spotlight after anti-corruption activist, Veera Somkwamkid claimed in his Facebook posts that the new casino was located in a border area and may be sited in the Ta Phraya National Park, which forms part of a World Heritage Site.

Veera questioned why the military government had allowed this to happen, and suspected that the previous post he had made on the same issue had led to a warrant being issued for his arrest over a week ago for violation of the Computer Crime Act.

The casino is reported to be situated close to the Sai Takoo border checkpoint in Buri Ram province where former politician Newin Chidchob, now a football-club sponsor, is known to be influential.

Newin filed a complaint with the police seeking charges against the Facebook account owner, apparently Veera, for posts that he claimed had also implicated him of involvement with the casino, Nation TV reported.

In his latest post on Sunday, Veera did not mention Newin, but referred to some close aides of Cambodian leaders.

He also alleged that Thailand’s National Parks Department had being negligent in carrying out its duty.

This resulted in the agency undertaking an examination of the official map of the national park to prove that the casino was not located within its perimeter, followed by a prompt denial of Veera’s allegation

Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said yesterday that the Cabinet had not considered at its weekly meeting the issue of a new casino allegedly sited on an adjoining territory between Thailand and Cambodia.

The Foreign Ministry has also not written to the Cambodian authorities regarding the matter, he said.

Don added that a number of casinos had opened in border areas without posing any problems.

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