National police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas on Thursday ordered Provincial Police Region (PPR) 2 to launch a disciplinary probe against a local superintendent believed to be behind the Saipay69 gambling site.
The order was made in response to a complaint lodged by Atchariya Reuangrattanapong, chairman of the Help Crime Victims Club, who met the deputy chief of the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB) to follow up on progress in the case after he asked CCIB police to check 17 gambling websites on Wednesday.
Mr Atchariya alleged these websites showed ties to numerous police officers, as well as the owner of a football club in the north of the country. They also sold online lottery tickets and even illicit drugs, he said.
Money from the online gambling networks was also found to have been transferred in the form of bribes to the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) and the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo), he claimed.
"That's why the investigation into the networks' transactions failed to make much progress. Each website has at least 10 billion baht circulating in their bank accounts," Mr Atchariya said. He claimed to have a list of more than 100 police officers with ties to gambling networks whose positions range from inspector and superintendent to commissioner in many agencies, including the Royal Thai Police (RTP) and the CCIB.
Furthermore, he said he had clear evidence, such as transaction or partnership documents, indicating that some officers were operating the sites themselves. He said he would hand over the incriminating list of officers to the RTP on Monday.
Pol Gen Damrongsak responded yesterday by admitting that some officers were found to be associated with online gambling websites, as claimed by Mr Atchariya, but he challenged the total tally. "I insist the RTP will investigate its officers and take legal action against any wrongdoers without exception," he said.
Pol Gen Damrongsak encouraged Mr Atchariya to turn over all of the purported evidence proving the guilt of the 100 or so officers, including the superintendent of the CCIB, as well as specify the identity of the deputy chief at the RTP who is suspected of wrongdoing.
Police are investigating an allegation against a superintendent in the East after another suspect showed financial transactions linking him to Saipay69.
"The accused superintendent has been transferred to an inactive post with the Royal Thai Police Operation Centre, pending a disciplinary probe carried out by PPR 2," he said.