S. Koreans busted in Phuket online gambling raid

S. Koreans busted in Phuket online gambling raid

Phuket police have arrested eight South Korean men in raids on two locations in Muang district for running an online gambling network for Korean people.

The arrests on Wednesday evening were linked to a raid in Bangkok on Wednesday when two South Korean men were detained in the Bang Kapi area for running a similar online gambling operation.

Phuket police chief Pol Maj Gen Patchara Boonyasit said on Thursday a tourism business had been used as a front for the gambling operation.

Police searched a commercial house and a condominium unit in tambon Vichit after being advised the two residences were used for online gambling. The items they seized included 60 South Korean bank books, computer equipment, mobile phones and 60,000 baht cash. The bank books recorded transactions worth around 100 million baht.

Pol Col Somkid Bunyarat, superintendent of Phuket police station, said the gamblers took bets on live sporting matches worldwide, such as football, basketball, volleyball and baseball. Gamblers had to register as website members in order to get a personal identification number. They also had to give the operators bank account books and means of notification of electronic funds transfers.

The eight arrested suspects checked the money was transfered to the den’s account before allowing "members" to bet on games.

All suspects would be charged with operating an illegal online gambling house, Pol Col Somkid said.

The two Koreans arrested in Bangkok reportedly confessed that Thailand was chosen as the base for the  gambling operation because penalties were much lower than in South Korea, where they might face up to five years in prison and large fines.    

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