Police seek Siapo's mum over crime links

Police seek Siapo's mum over crime links

Police are going after the mother of Siapo Po-arnon, a popular internet figure arrested in a high-profile swoop on Thursday on charges of organising online gambling and money laundering.

Pol Maj Gen Suwat Saengnoom, commander of the Crime Suppression Division (CSD), said Banyen Channara has not been in contact with the police to arrange an appointment to answer the complicity charge.

He said Ms Banyen may be avoiding the police after seeing her son was refused bail after his arrest.

Early Thursday, the 29-year-old Siapo, whose former name was Apirak Chat-anont, was apprehended at his house on Phetkasem Road in Phasi Charoen district of Bangkok.

His house was one of seven locations raided by police investigating his alleged online gambling network. Police also detained his aides and workers for questioning.

Pol Col Thongchai Yuket, commander of the Crime Suppression Sub-Division 1, said checks were being run on a fleet of luxury cars owned by Siapo. Police were finding out if he had bought the cars legally or that the vehicle registrations on them were real.

Meanwhile, Pol Lt Gen Torsak Sukwimol, commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau, denied criticism that the high-profile operation to arrest Siapo was an "overkill."

The criticism was made by Santana Prayoonrat, a former lieutenant police in the Special Police Branch, who questioned whether the raid on Siapo's house and his arrest had been blown out of proportion with the national police chief himself holding a press conference on the case.

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