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Police raid casino fortress

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Just about everyone in the area knew about the Tao Pun casino, but it was so heavily-fortified it took a task force of more 100 specially-trained police officers to close it down. 

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City police raid a gambling den in Bang Sue district, rounding up 199 gamblers, many of them women, and seizing 350 sets of cards, more than 33,000 baht in cash and almost 1,200 chips worth more than 950,000 baht. Photo courtesy of Royal Thai Police.

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Police raid casino fortress

Just about everyone in the area knew there was a gambling den in the Trok Khao Sarn community in Bangkok’s Bang Sue district but it was so well protected that local police couldn’t do much about.

It took a task force of more 100 specially-trained police officers to close it down.

Early yesterday, the special task force fired pepper spray into the heavily fortified entrances of the so-called Tao Pun casino before they forced their way into the building.

Sharp metal spikes were part of the casino's fortification. Photo courtesy of Royal Thai Police.

Three police officers were injured as panicked gamblers hurled objects at them to block their pursuit. Police arrested a total of 199 suspects.

One of the injured officers was Pol Lt Col Sathit Sangprapai, deputy superintendent of Tao Pun police station, who suffered a cut above the right eyebrow when he was hit with an electric fan.

Thirteen baccarat tables, 350 sets of cards and more than 1,200 chips worth almost one million baht were found. Cash flow in the casino was estimated at 45 million baht a day.

Police also seized a handgun which was left at the front door.

The suspects were charged with gambling which is punishable by a maximum jail term of three months and a fine of 2,000 baht.

Among the suspects were the house owner identified as Winyu Ngernyuang and two alleged bookmakers identified as Prasit Sarachan and Korkiat Klinmoei.

Pol Lt Gen Winai Thongsong, commissioner of Metropolitan Police Bureau, said the raid was the result of a carefully planned operation and collaboration between Tao Pun police station and the Metropolitan Police Division 2.

The two units spent about a month planning the raid and a team of 10 policemen received special tactical training for the mission, he said.

"Ordinary police at a police station can't pull this off," he said.

Adapted from a story in today’s Bangkok Post by Wassayos Ngamkham.

raid – to use force to enter a place suddenly in order to arrest people or search for something such as illegal weapons or drugs บุกเข้าจับ, เข้าตรวจค้น
gambling – the activity of betting money, for example in a game or on a horse race การพนัน
den – a place where people meet in secret, especially for some illegal or immoral activity บ่อน
gambler – a person who risks money on a card game, horse race, etc  นักการพนัน,นักเสี่ยงโชค
chip – a small flat piece of plastic used to represent a particular amount of money in some types of gambling
fortress – a building or place that has been made stronger and protected against attack ป้อมปราการ, ที่มั่น
community – the people living in one particular area ชุมชน
task force – a group of people who are brought together to do a particular job, or a large military group who have a military aim to achieve คณะทำงานเฉพาะกิจ, กองกำลังเฉพาะกิจ
fortify – to protect a place against attack by building strong walls, towers, or other structures around it เสริมความแข็งแกร่ง
trained – having received special instruction ฝึกหัดมาแล้ว
pepper spray – a chemical substance made from hot peppers that causes a person's eyes, nose, and throat to sting when it is sprayed on them สเปรย์พริกไทย
injured – hurt in an accident or attack ได้รับบาดเจ็บ
panic – a sudden strong feeling of fear or worry that causes you to be unable to think clearly or calmly ความตื่นตกใจ
hurl – to throw something using a lot of force  เขวี้ยง ขว้างปา
object – a thing that can be seen and touched, but is not alive  วัตถุ, สิ่งของ
block – to stop someone/ something from moving through or along something else  ปิดกั้น, กีดขวาง
pursuit –  the act of following or chasing somebody  การไล่ตาม
arrest – (of the police) to take someone to a police station because they are believed to have committed a crime จับกุม
suspect – a person who is thought to have committed a crime ผู้ต้องสงสัย
deputy – a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
superintendent – a senior police officer เจ้าหน้าที่ตำรวจระดับสูง
suffer – to experience something very unpleasant or painful ประสบ
eyebrow – the line of hair above the eye คิ้ว
baccarat – a card game in which players hold two or three cards each and bet on whose cards will have the highest number left highest number left การเล่นไพ่แบ็กคาระ
cash flow – the movement of money into and out of a business as goods or services are bought and sold การไหลเวียนของเงินในธุรกิจการซื้อขาย
estimated – thought to be a particular amount, size, etc. based on a guess or the best information available ประมาณการ
seize – to take something using official power and force ยึด, จับกุม
charge – to accuse someone officially of committing a crime ตั้งข้อกล่าวหา
punishable – that can be punished, especially by law ซึ่งมีโทษ
maximum – the most possible ที่สูงสุด ที่มากที่สุด
jail term – the length of time a person is required to spend in jail
fine – an amount of money that you have to pay because you have broken the law ค่าปรับ
identify – to specify who someone is  ระบุชื่อ
alleged – claimed to be true although not yet proven ที่ถูกกล่าวหา
bookmaker – a person whose job is to take bets and pay out money to people who win เจ้ามือรับแทง
commissioner – the head of a particular police force in some countries หัวหน้ากรม
metropolitan police – the police in responsible for a city ตำรวจนครบาล
operation – a planned activity involving a lot of people, especially soldiers or police officers การปฏิบัติการ
collaboration – working together with someone else การร่วมมือ
tactical – involving tactics, i.e., plans for achieving something   แผนการ กลยุทธ
mission – an important piece of work that a person or a group of people has been given to do ภาระกิจ หน้าที่
ordinary – not unusual or different in any way ธรรมดา, ปกติ
pull off – to succeed in doing something difficult ทำได้สำเร็จ

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