The embattled owner of the now-closed-down Kong Salak Plus online lottery platform has assured his customers he will ensure they receive any winnings due them from this week's draw.
Panthawat Nakwisut, the chief executive officer, had built a reputation of quickly contacting lottery prize winners after the numbers were drawn and delivering the money to them at home, earning applause from online lottery customers.
The DSI pressed charges against Mr Panthawat after they found a 53-million-baht cashier's cheque given to him by a suspect identified only as Atthakarn.
Phongsathorn In-amnuai, director of the DSI’s narcotics case centre, said on Tuesday that the DSI had charged Mr Panthawat in two cases. Mr Panthawat reported to Mr Phongsathorn but does not face drugs charges.
The first case involved suspicious transfers of 53 million baht from network members of an online gambling website. In this case. Mr Panthawat had been charged with money laundering, Mr Phongsathorn said.
In the second case, investigators had looked into money trail of the online lottery platform CEO and found 39 suspicious money transfers totalling about one billion baht into Mr Panthawat’s account. Investigators charged him with colluding in online gambling.
The Kong Salak Plus platform has now been shut down.
Mr Panthawat denied all charges. He has also promised customers who bought tickets for the Feb 1 draw that they would receive any winnings due them, as usual.
On Wednesday, he posted on his Facebook account that his 200 employees would take care of all customers, providing service-around-the-clock throughout this month.
“Today I want people to feel comfortable while awaiting the outcome of the lottery. Those who win prizes must get their money. If there is any problem, I and my team members will give help and coordinate (with the appropriate agencies).
"Do not worry. Lotteries bring happiness. Don’t let other things destroy our happiness,’’ Mr Panthawat said in his Facebook post on Wednesday.
The DSI on Wednesday said people who bought online tickets from Kong Salak Plus and won prizes could still get their money the normal way, by taking their winning tickets to the local Government Lottery Office. Neither the DSI nor the GLO will phone them or home deliver their winnings.