Police raid another lottery vendor

Police raid another lottery vendor

Red Tiger targeted for overpricing

Authorities yesterday raided the office of another online lottery vendor Suea Daeng Lottery (Red Tiger) in Nonthaburi's Muang district for allegedly selling overpriced lottery tickets.

It was the third online lottery dealer to be raided after Bluedragon and Kong Salak Plus were accused of driving up the prices of lottery tickets.

The dealer, which was not registered with the Government Lottery Office (GLO), allegedly bought tickets from smaller vendors and resold them at 100-110 baht apiece, which is way above the set price of 80 baht.

Armed with a search warrant, authorities led by Pol Lt Gen Prachuap Wongsuk, vice chairman of a panel tasked with investigating irregular pricing of lottery tickets, searched Suea Daeng Lottery's premises and seized 9,000 tickets.

Pol Lt Gen Prachuap, assistant police chief, said investigators would look into the dealer's financial transactions to determine who held lottery ticket quota rights and would consider if the website should be closed down.

According to investigators, a company staff member, who had worked there for about eight months, said the company had bought tickets from vendors who were already selling them for more than the set price of 80 baht.

With processing fees of 20 baht apiece, the tickets could not be resold at 80 baht, according to police.

It is reported that there are more than 20 online lottery ticket dealers being investigated by the committee tasked with investigating the irregular pricing of lottery tickets.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DES) has sought a court order to block the Bluedragon website.

DES Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn said the ministry has yet to receive a request from police to block Kong Salak Plus' website, also suspected of ticket overpricing.

He said Bluedragon is free to challenge the ministry's court petition.

"Authorities need to gather evidence to support the accusation that these websites sell overpriced tickets. They will also look at financial transactions to see if they have committed other offences. It will take time to gather evidence, unlike pornography or illegal gambling websites," he said.

The court has accepted the ministry's petition and scheduled April 7 for a hearing.

The ministry's move came after police raided Bluedragon Lottery Company in Nonthaburi's Pak Kret district last week.

Police claimed the online dealer bought lottery tickets from small vendors and resold them at 100-110 baht apiece, which is 20-30 baht above the set price.

The dealer also used a logo to mislead the public into thinking that it was an authorised seller.

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

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