31 arrested in World Cup gambling crackdown, police say
Thirty-one people were arrested during a crackdown on illegal gambling websites on Wednesday, police told a press conference on Thurdsay.
The raids coincide with an increase of gambling during the 2022 World Cup.
The police searched two locations in Bangkok and six in Chanthaburi on Wednesday. They found 20 gambling websites were being operated from the locations.
Police seized nine computers, 19 laptops, 31 computer monitors, 19 mobile phones, a camera, a whiteboard with a message promoting gambling, 21 bankbooks, a banknote counter, and three cars.
Police also seized 70 million baht. At Thursday’s press conference they said that 1.2 billion baht was circulating in the 20 gambling websites, which use pop-up ads to attract users.
Maj Gen Teeradej Thumsutee, commander of the Investigation Division of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, said that the operators of the gambling websites advertise during the World Cup and that the websites are easily accessible.
He said one 13-year-old child gambled on one of the 20 websites.
Teeradej admitted that he might not be able to eliminate gambling websites but said he would investigate further and make their owners “unhappy”.
Teeradej said that the evidence gathered from Wednesday’s raids could identify those who control them.
At least 20 arrest warrants were issued for gambling and money-laundering related crimes.
Teeradej said gambling is illegal and no one ever got rich from it. He also called on parents to monitor their children’s online behaviour to ensure they did not fall victim to illegal gambling websites.