The chief of the Bowin police station in Si Racha district of Chon Buri has been transferred to an inactive post pending an investigation into his alleged financial link to the Saipay69 gambling site.
Pol Col Phandao Damkham, who arrived at the Bowin station from Ang Thong just three weeks earlier, has been moved to the Chon Buri provincial police operations centre. A fact-finding panel has been set up to investigate the allegations against him.
The order, signed by Pol Maj Gen Kamphon Leelaprapaporn, chief of Chon Buri provincial police on Friday, took effect immediately.
The transfer came after investigators from the Phetkasem station in Bangkok arrested Siwaphong Photchanawiset and another accomplice on charges of gambling and money laundering during a raid on a house in Bang Kae district on Feb 21.
The arrest team subsequently came across the name of Pol Col Phandao in follow-up investigations into the Saipay69 operation.
Investigators say they saw chats via the Line messaging application between Mr Siwaphong and Pol Col Phandao about the amount of money from the gambling site. Some Saipay69 proceeds had been transferred to the officer’s bank account, according to the letter announcing his transfer, which was widely circulated on mainstream and social media.
On Thursday, national police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas ordered Provincial Police Region 2 to launch a disciplinary investigation against a local superintendent believed to be behind the Saipay69 gambling site.
The order was made in response to a complaint lodged by crusading lawyer Atchariya Reuangrattanapong, who had asked police the day before for a progress report on their investigation into 17 gambling websites.
Mr Atchariya alleged the 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.