Police have raided 17 locations, including a luxury home belonging to a Thai actress's husband, with suspected links to online gambling networks.
Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB) police and police commandos launched the raid in Bangkok and surrounding provinces on Thursday to find evidence to prosecute members of the gambling networks, said Pol Gen Torsak Sukwimol, deputy national police chief.
One of the target venues was a luxury home at Soi Yothin Patthana in Bang Kapi district, Bangkok. The house was owned by Phuket hotelier and businessman Mek Rama, husband of actress Yardthip Rajpal.
Mr Mek was present during the raid. The police team searched his house, which had a secret room storing a big safe containing valuable items.
The police team seized assets worth about 1 billion baht from the businessman. Among the seized items were a Ferrari, a BMW and three vans.
Mek Rama, left, is questioned by police. (Photo supplied / Wassayos Ngamkham)
Mr Mek was apprehended on an arrest warrant for colluding in online gambling operation and committing offences under the Anti-Money Laundering Act. He was taken to the CCIB office in Chaeng Wattana for questioning.
Mr Mek recently grabbed headlines after whistleblower and former massage parlour tycoon Chuvit Kamolvisit exposed major gambling networks and hinted that a husband of a TV actress was allegedly involved in online gambling operations.
On his Facebook post, Mr Chuvit detailed the accused, saying the man with the Thai initial "Mor" spent his luxury life living in a 200-million-baht residence and driving a red Ferrari. He added that this wealthy man was believed to be involved in a football gambling network.
The raids on 17 locations in Bangkok, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Sa Kaeo and Phitsanulok resulted in nine arrests, said Pol Lt Gen Worawat Watnakhornbancha, the CCIB commissioner.
More details of the police operations would be disclosed on Friday, he said.
Last month, the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) confiscated a 200-milion-baht penthouse belonging to Mr Mek for alleged involvement in the Forex-3D Ponzi scheme.
The 36-year-old actress declined to comment on the confiscation of the penthouse, but earlier insisted that her husband was not involved in the Forex-3D scam.
Yardthip Rajpal (File photo)