Raid on Tao Poon casino fails (pix)
- Published: 7/04/2013 at 04:58 PM
- Online news:
Police raided the notorious Tao Poon casino in Bangkok’s Bang Sue district on Sunday but failed to arrest a single suspect after they met with resistance from both gamblers and residents in the community.
Metropolitan Police Division 2 chief Suthee Nanekantee led a 200-strong team of officers to a building in Soi Khao San in Bang Sue, which housed the illegal gambling den known as Tao Poon casino, at about 2pm.
Post Today Photo
Pol Maj Gen Suthee said a group of plainclothes officers were sent in first but the gamblers sensed the police presence. They managed to block all entry points and set off fire distinguishers to thwart the officers before fleeing the casino. The police tried to enter the casino from the roof by rappelling down the side of a nearby building. They encountered about 30 gamblers who managed to escape. One policeman fell from the roof and sustained minor injuries, he said.
Most of the remaining officers faced difficulty in backing up their colleagues after residents tried to block access to the building – located on 250 square wah of land – and surrounded them. They took about one hour to enter the building and found no one there, only gambling paraphernalia. The gamblers were able to mingle with the crowd and escape arrest.
Sunday’s raid came after the Anti-Money Laundering Office froze ownership of the block of land on which the casino was operating in February. The title deeds for the land show that the owner is Samart Singchamnong, a food vendor. It is believed he is only a proxy.
The land and the building had been sub-leased to Winyoo Sringernyuang, the operator of the casino. Amlo is trying to establish who is the real owner of the land.
Pol Maj Gen Suthee said he would prosecute those involved in reopening the casino despite Amlo’s move and the residents who prevented authorities from doing their duty.
Meanwhile, Amlo chief Sihanat Prayoonrat said the owner of the building still had right to enter and use it unless the Civil Court rules that ownership belongs to the state.
The agency could only prohibit the owner from selling or transferring the building’s ownership to another person. The reopening of the casino on Sunday was beyond Amlo’s authority, he explained.
Photos by Post Today
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- Writer: Online Reporters
Position: Online Reporters