Bluedragon denies politician links

Bluedragon denies politician links

Lottery firm aims to foil website block bid

Officials inspect a large stash of tickets at Lottery Online Co’s office in Bangkok’s Watthana district on Monday. The company, which runs the online lottery ticket site ‘Kong Salak Plus’, is  suspected of selling overpriced lottery tickets — a charge which it denies. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Officials inspect a large stash of tickets at Lottery Online Co’s office in Bangkok’s Watthana district on Monday. The company, which runs the online lottery ticket site ‘Kong Salak Plus’, is suspected of selling overpriced lottery tickets — a charge which it denies. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Bluedragon Lottery Co, which is being investigated for allegedly selling overpriced lottery tickets on its online platform, has denied any connection with a Pheu Thai Party politician.

It is also trying to oppose a legal bid by the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society to block access to its website.

Bluedragon posted on its Facebook page on Wednesday that authorities have not yet brought charges against it, but if it is charged, its website may have to be blocked. The company insisted it has operated transparently and legally and its lawyers were drawing up a petition seeking to head off a ministry bid to obtain a court order blocking access to its website.

"The company is working on finding a solution to the problem," it posted while also denying any connection with any politicians.

Previously, Lertsak Pattanachaikul, the Pheu Thai Party MP for Loei, denied any involvement with Bluedragon or Muang Loei United Football Club.

Although he co-founded the club, he has nothing to do with its operations, he said. The club was implicated when Seksakol Atthawong, an aide to the prime minister who leads a panel tasked with investigating the irregular pricing of lottery tickets, said a football club in Loei was being sponsored by Bluedragon.

Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn previously said the assistant national police chief, Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn, had asked the ministry to seek a court order to block access to Bluedragon's website.

Police on Wednesday raided the premises of Bluedragon's sales agents in seven southern provinces -- Phuket, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Krabi, Chumphon, Phangnga and Ranong.

Pol Maj Gen Naphanwuth Liamsanguan, Provincial Police Region 8's chief investigator, said officers with court-approved warrants raided 13 locations in those provinces. In Phuket's Muang district, police raided a house belonging to a Bluedragon sales agent.

The agent told police she sold tickets for 100 baht each, above the 80-baht legal limit, and made a profit of 3-5 baht on each ticket, he said.

Pol Maj Gen Naphanwuth said an investigation confirmed Bluedragon sold tickets to agents for 90-97 baht.

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