Thirty people were arrested in a three-day crackdown on a criminal network allegedly linked to "Inspector Sua", a former officer accused of involvement in a multi-billion-baht gambling network, authorities said on Monday.
Police and other law enforcement agencies raided 39 locations across the country at the weekend and detained 30 people wanted on charges of running a secret organisation, gambling operation and colluding in money laundering.
National police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas said police had made significant progress in their efforts against the network since operations against it first began in February.
A total of 57 people were arrested in four operations during this time, and assets worth more than seven billion baht were seized, including land plots covering 1,298 rai, 15 luxury cars worth 52.8 million baht and digital currencies worth 100 million baht from the network, he said.
Nineteen people who were implicated were believed to have fled overseas, he said, adding that warrants were issued for the arrests of the asset holders, who were the network's key members.
According to the police chief, the land assets included durian orchards in Chanthaburi, a golf course in Kanchanaburi, seaside land plots in Phuket and a penthouse in Bangkok.
Pol Col Wiwat Jitsophakul, from the Crime Suppression Division, said the network linked to "Inspector Sua" was behind one of the country's largest gambling operations. He said more than 60 firms were allegedly involved, with seven directly providing gambling services and running online gambling sites. The network's revenue was estimated to exceed 10 billion baht last year.
"These companies report no profits but hold massive assets. This corresponds with our information the gambling proceeds are transferred through mule accounts and turned into assets," he said.
Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej, the commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB), said police were coordinating closely with authorities in other countries in tracking down "Inspector Sua" who had fled overseas.
"Inspector Sua", or Pol Lt Col Wasawat Mukurasakul, was a police officer attached to the public works division under the Office of Logistics of the Royal Thai Police. His alleged involvement in the online gambling network was exposed by former massage parlour tycoon Chuvit Kamolvisit.