Police target foreign online gamblers
Foreigners caught illegally gambling online face being blacklisted from re-entering Thailand under tough new measures, the spokesman for the Royal Thai Police (RTP) said.
Pol Lt Gen Prawut Thawonsiri said yesterday the RTP plans to hold talks with related authorities, including the Foreign Ministry, to work on long-term plans to tackle the problem, including the idea to blacklist foreigners.
The RTP spokesman made the announcement yesterday at a press conference to unveil the arrests of South Korean online gambling gangs caught by the police in Lumpini and Huai Khwang districts earlier this week.
He said officers at the RTP are drawing up a proposal on the blacklist idea to submit to the Foreign Ministry.
The RTP will also ask the Foreign Ministry to get in touch with relevant authorities in South Korea to try to find out more information about illegal online gambling in that country and to ask for the criminal records of South Koreans caught illegally gambling online.
Thailand's lighter punishments for those caught illegally gambling online is one of the main reasons South Koreans come to the country, Pol Lt Gen Prawut said.
Lumpini police arrested three men during a raid on JJ Mansion on Soi Sukhumvit 24 in Wattana district on Monday evening, the spokesman said. A staff member at the mansion led officers to a room on the 6th floor where police discovered three men playing online slot machines, police said.
Police later named the men as Hui Jun-jeong, 32, Min Ki-mun, 28 and Min Jae-kwon, 26, all South Korean nationals.
Police also seized mobile phones, computers and computer software and foreign bank books during the raid, Pol Lt Gen Prawut said. The suspects allegedly confessed to investigators that they were involved in online gambling and most of their clients were also South Korean.
The men also admitted to having about 1,000,000 South Korean won (30,150 Thai baht) in their bank accounts.
Meanwhile, Huai Khwang police on Monday asked the Crime Suppression Division police for assistance in searching Diamond Mansion on Ratchadaphisek Road after officers received a tip-off that foreigners were operating illegal online gambling.
The search found three South Koreans — Park Je-gyun, Bin Yun-hyeok and Kim Tae-ho — operating illegal football gambling online via a website and four computers, 9 computer screens, 11 mobile phones and 16 financial transaction devices, which were confiscated as evidence, police said.