Five cops transferred after gambling den robbery

Five cops transferred after gambling den robbery

Five senior police at Muang district station in Samut Prakan have been transferred to inactive posts, paving the way for an investigation into a robbery that took place on Wednesday night at a makeshift gambling den, police said yesterday.

The robbery came to light after Sai Mai Tong Rot, a popular Facebook page, revealed that eight armed men broke into the gambling den, known as Archong, on Srinakarin Road, and robbed the patrons inside, making off with about 400,000 baht cash.

According to the widely read post on Facebook, at least one person was killed and another injured during the attack on the local restaurant-cum-gambling den.

After the news caught the media's attention, Pol Col Toemrat Chindawat, superintendent of the Muang district police, told the press he hadn't received any reports of the robbery.

He also insisted there was no information about anyone being injured as a result of the incident either, leaving many in the dark as to whether the reported robbery had actually happened at all.

As rumours swirled, Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn, the deputy national police chief, on Thursday sought more information from Ekkaphop Laungprasoet, the founder of the Facebook page, and sent a team to investigate.

Pol Gen Surachate later confirmed the robbery had occurred and said police were investigating.

Later on Friday, Pol Gen Surachate said Pol Col Toemrat had later called him on the phone to admit the robbery did occur.

Pol Col Toemrat was then transferred along with four other police at the station to inactive posts at Samut Prakan's police operation centre while an investigation is held, said Pol Lt Gen Chiraphat Phumchit, commissioner of the Provincial Police Region 1.

All suspects involved in Wednesday night's robbery have been identified, said national police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas.

A man identified only as Aow who owns a restaurant called Khrua Ban Lung, which was alleged to be the venue of the gambling den, and where the robbery reportedly took place, meanwhile, insisted he only had heard a gunshot from a table in his restaurant. When he came out to find out what had happened, he found no one had been injured or killed and the perpetrator was nowhere to be seen.

He also claimed there were no such illegal gambling activities inside his restaurant.

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