Locals seek cash for casino raid damage

Tao Poon residents are demanding compensation from police who damaged their houses in a bungled rooftop raid on an illegal casino on Sunday.

Tao Poon community residents deliver hostile gestures to journalists during the failed police raid of the Tao Poon casino on Sunday. PATTARAPONG CHATPATTARASILL

Police, meanwhile, are preparing to take legal action against several locals who attacked officers with projectiles and prevented the progress of a backup force during the operation.

Pol Lt Col Montree Tosomjit, deputy superintendent of Tao Poon police station, said the owners of five homes in the Bang Sue district community yesterday demanded compensation.

The residents say the police operation damaged their roofs. One homeowner claims his air-conditioning compressor was destroyed after an officer stepped on it, causing the unit to dislodge and crash into another house.

No deal was reached, Pol Lt Col Montree said. A professional assessment of the damage will be sought and the matter will be discussed again today, he said.

Pol Lt Col Montree also said police would collect evidence and witness accounts to prosecute Narong Phuengwan, the owner of the house where the casino was operating.

Police will hand over evidence to the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) so the office can try to confiscate additional assets relating to the casino operation.

Amlo had frozen ownership of the land on which the casino stands following a previous police raid in 2011.

Police raided the casino again on Sunday following reports that the owner had reopened the business.

The operation was foiled by extensive fortifications to the house, as well as interference from community members.

Meanwhile, Pol Maj Gen Parinya Jansuriya, deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, has ordered footage to be gathered from surveillance cameras to charge those who interfered with the operation. The interference delayed the arrival of a backup force, allowing everyone inside the casino to escape.