Bail opposed for aide to 'Inspector Sua', 5 others in gambling case

Bail opposed for aide to 'Inspector Sua', 5 others in gambling case

Central Investigation Bureau police take Theerapong, known as Jew, to the Criminal Court in Bangkok on Sunday. Mr Theerapong was a close aide to Pol Lt Col Wasawat Mukurasakul, accused of involvement in a multi-billion-baht gambling network. (Photo supplied/ Wassayos Ngamkham)
Central Investigation Bureau police take Theerapong, known as Jew, to the Criminal Court in Bangkok on Sunday. Mr Theerapong was a close aide to Pol Lt Col Wasawat Mukurasakul, accused of involvement in a multi-billion-baht gambling network. (Photo supplied/ Wassayos Ngamkham)

Police took a close aide to “Inspector Sua”, a policeman accused of involvement in a multi-billion-baht gambling network, and five others to the Criminal Court to seek their detention for 12 days.

The accused officer had yet to surrender.

Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) investigators took Theerapong, known as Jew, and the five other suspects to the court around 10am on Sunday for the first round of their detention. 

Mr Theerapong was a close aide to Pol Lt Col Wasawat Mukurasakul, who is reported to be in hiding abroad. 

Police did not disclose Mr Theerapong's surname or the names of the other suspects. Police opposed their bail for fear they might interfere with evidence.  All six denied fraud-related charges.

The six suspects were arrested during police raids on 63 locations across the country with suspected links to Pol Lt Col Wasawat, known as “Inspector Sua’’.

Pol Lt Col Wasawat, attached to the public works division under the Office of Logistics of the Royal Thai Police, has been suspended from the force for absenteeism, pending the outcome of an investigation into his alleged involvement in an online gambling network.

Friday’s raids focused on companies serving as nominees for the accused officer and the houses of his associates, with the main targets being Pol Lt Col Wasawat’s residence and companies under the Pentor Group umbrella, mostly located in Ram Intra Soi 5 in Bang Khen district of Bangkok.

Mr Theerapong served as an executive of six firms under the Pentor Group. During the raid, police confiscated assets worth more than 1.4 billion baht including three cars — a Lexus, a Mercedes-Benz and.an Audi — along with title deeds covering 446 rai worth a total of 700 million baht, 184 bank passbooks and 100 electronic items.

The CIB investigators have so far issued 14 arrest warrants for those linked to the gambling network, allegedly operated by Pol Lt Col Wasawat.

Pol Col Anek Taosuparb, deputy commander of the Crime Suppression Division, said on Sunday that the investigation was being extended to arrest more suspects linked to the accused officer. They included employees of companies and those who opened bank accounts  to receive money transfers from people who placed bets.

So far, Pol Lt Col Wasawat has not yet contacted investigators for his surrender, said Pol Col Anek.  

Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej, CIB commissioner, has ordered police to track down those who opened bank accounts for the gambling network of Pol Lt Col Wasawat,  particularly in Bangkok, Pathum Thani and Nonthaburi. Officers earlier raided their premises but they managed to flee, said a police source.

Police investigators were in the process of compiling land documents to coordinate with the Land Department to check assets seized in eastern provinces to find out whether the assets belonged to members of Pol Lt Col Wasawat's network.  A meeting would later be held to seize their assets, added the source.


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