National police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas has ordered cybercrime suppression police to travel to Taiwan to seek more information from a Thai actress about the macau888 online gambling network.
Actress Arisara "Due" Thongborisut on Wednesday evening posted a video clip on her Facebook page, accusing her ex-boyfriend Chaiwat "Benz Daemon" Kachornboonthaworn of being one of the "four brothers" allegedly running the macau888 gambling operation. Ms Arisara also accused Mr Chaiwat of physical assault, which inflicted emotional distress on her, and this was a reason for her to expose the alleged operation.
Pol Gen Damrongsak has ordered Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB) commissioner Pol Lt Gen Worawat Watnakhonbancha and deputy CCIB chief Pol Maj Gen Wiwat Khamchamnan to widen the investigation into this gambling network in all dimensions. The police chief has also ordered the CCIB chief to send a team of officers to question the actress in Taiwan, according to a police source.
Pol Maj Gen Wiwat will call a meeting with a team of police investigators on Thursday to draw up an investigation framework and forward it to the CCIB chief.
The source denied speculation that a plan for police to question Ms Arisara in Taiwan was aimed at finding fault with her. The actress would be interrogated as a witness and her information would be used for police investigation into the gambling network.
The crackdown operation on macau888 network members came after the 32-year-old actress shed light on the operation and those involved on her Facebook page on Jan 15. In her post, she provided clues that the gambling network was allegedly run by the "four brothers", all with the initial “Bor”.
The four siblings left Thailand for Hong Kong on Jan 16, according to police.
In Ms Arisara's post on Wednesday, the actress spoke in tears that she had been physically and mentally abused for almost two years by her ex-boyfriend. In one incident, she accused him of pouring a bowl of hot instant noodles onto her head in the presence of other people in his family. Nobody came to her rescue, she said tearfully. She showed pictures on her mobile phone of wounds that she said were proof that he had abused her.
“Why is he still living happily all this time?" Ms Arisara asked. "Over the past years, I have lost my faith in life and have lived with fear from a deep wound that has been inflicted on my heart. Why do I have to see doctor and take medicines? I hardly sleep at night and feel frightened whenever I walk past someone who just raises his arm to touch his hair. I have to see a psychiatrist."
"A member of this group (the accused brothers) could throw a grand wedding even though their money came from illicit gains. In the past, I always felt my life was worthless and useless. But today, Due is not that person anymore. I will ask a lawyer to review the timeframe and legal aspects regarding physical and mental abuse I encountered,’’ the actress said in her video that drew sympathy and encouragement from social media users.
Police have so far arrested 46 suspects and seized a large amount of assets in their investigation of the macau888 network, CCIB spokesman Pol Col Kissana Phatthanacharoen said on Wednesday.
The latest details were released after the youngest brother of the prime suspect in the case was released from detention on Tuesday night after taking unapproved leave to accompany the fugitive to Hong Kong. The youngest brother is a police immigration inspector. Three people were arrested in the initial raids.
Pol Col Kissana said 12 suspects were still at large, and one of them was Mr Chaiwat, who reportedly postponed his planned surrender on Wednesday.
Mr Chaiwat's lawyer Phisit Chutipornpongchai said on Thursday that his client will return to Thailand on Feb 16 or sooner to defend himself in the case.
The lawyer met CCIB deputy chief Pol Maj Gen Omsin Trarungruang and other police investigators at the CCIB office in Pak Kret district of Nonthaburi
Mr Phisit said he submitted a letter to the investigators to fight charges levelled against his client. There were no bail negotiations as it was a criminal case, added the lawyer.
"Mr Chaiwat is ready to fight the charges and would return to Thailand next Thursday or sooner once he finishes his business there," said the lawyer.
Mr Phisit added that his client was worried over the video clip posted by the actress. However, the lawyer did not go into details on his client's whereabouts.