B200m football gambling ring busted

B200m football gambling ring busted

Seven arrested in three provinces after investigation into online accounts linked to global betting site

A police officer shows a search warrant to people caught for collusion in running an online gambling operation during a search on one of four venues in Bangkok, Nonthaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan on Friday. (Police photo via Wassayos Ngamkham)
A police officer shows a search warrant to people caught for collusion in running an online gambling operation during a search on one of four venues in Bangkok, Nonthaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan on Friday. (Police photo via Wassayos Ngamkham)

Seven people have been arrested for allegedly operating online gambling website for people to bet on Euro 2020 football matches with over 200 million baht in monthly circulation.

Officers from the Police Cyber Taskforce (PCT) and immigration police searched four locations in Bangkok, Nonthaburi and Hua Hin on Friday to arrest people linked with the international football gambling website UFABET.com. An investigation had found that the site had over 200 million baht in circulation locally, according to Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas, deputy national police chief.

The searches followed complaints by parents that many students had been placing bets via the website and other accounts linked to it.

PCT investigators found bets had been placed via Line accounts of UFA777, UFA368, UFAR1 and UBET777, which were linked to the website, said Pol Gen Damrongsak.

Officers searched a house at the Parinyada Light Rama 5 housing estate on Ratchaphruek Road in Muang district of Nonthaburi, a house at tambon Bang Muang in Bang Yai district of Nonthaburi, a room at Lumpini Town Ville condominium in Bang Khae district of Bangkok, and a house in Hua Hin district of Prachuap Khri Khan.

Five men and two women were arrested separately on charges of collusion in running an online gambling operation, and persuading people either directly or indirectly to bet online.

They were identified as Surasit Khongcharoen, 27; Sitthipong Thabthong, 28; Chaisit Sornprasit, 27; Chiphanuphong Rojacharungruangporn, 26; Phiphat Lekphala, 27; Siriphan Chantharawisut, 39; and Wiphawan Thanee, 26.

Seized from them were passbooks for 91 bank accounts, 51 ATM cards, 17 mobile phones, some tablets and computer notebooks, a pistol, 424 Buddha amulets (worth about 5 million baht), four diamond ornaments (worth about one million baht) and four cars (worth about 11 million baht) and 595,000 baht in cash. The seized assets had a combined value of about 18 million baht, said Pol Gen Damrongsak.

The suspects has a total of 1.6 million baht in the bank accounts, he added.

The suspects and the confiscated items were handed over to police at the Bang Yai and Bang Sri Muang stations in Nonthaburi and Phetkasem station in Bangkok.

Pol Gen Damrongsak urged people not to bet during the Euro 2020 tournament as it is illegal in Thailand.

National police chief Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk has asked police to severely crack down on gambling and arrest those involved, he added.

The seven suspects are shown at a media briefing staged by police on Friday.


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