A police commander who was an academy classmate of deputy national police chief Surachate Hakparn has been arrested on charges of running three gambling websites.
Pol Gen Surachate confirmed on Wednesday that a police major general who was his classmate at the Royal Police Cadet Academy was among nine suspects recently arrested for running the gambling websites identfied as RRD789, BLUE789 and SEXY789.
He said his former classmate denied the charges.
The nine suspects in the case were charged with illegally hosting electronic gambling and laundering money.
Pol Gen Surachate, known as "Big Jok", said the arrests followed a complaint from a 24-year-old man who said he worked as a programmer and administrator of the gambling websites.
The man told police that seven men abducted him from his house in Chokchai area of Bangkok in January and took him to a coffee shop in Chon Buri. There he was accused of lowering the revenue from the gambling websites, assaulted and forced to pay 100,000 baht for his freedom.
The complainant told investigators then that the operator of the gambling websites was a classmate of Pol Gen Surachate.
A police inspector was also arrested for supplying personal information about the man to the gang, which was used to threaten him.
The online gambling business was originally based in Chon Buri, but the operators later worked from home.
Pol Gen Surachate said investigators would examine the source of the assets of the nine suspects, worth about 200 million baht.
All suspects would face legal action. The case would be handled straightforwardly even though one of them was his former classmate.