11 July 2024

Police from the Central Investigation Bureau have arrested six suspects and seized assets worth more than 1.4 billion baht in coordinated raids today (Friday) on 63 locations in six provinces, including Bangkok, linked to the Pentor Group, which police allege is a major online gambling network.

The six suspects were identified by police as “Thirapong”, 34, “Anuwat”, 23, “Ampa”, 54, “Ketkanok”, 29, “Narinthorn”, 32 and “Chatri”, 38. All were charged with fraud, organising illegal online gambling activities and money laundering.

The raids were conducted in Bangkok, Chon Buri, Chanthaburi, Nonthaburi and Pathum Thani provinces.

The seized assets include land title deeds for over 71 hectares of land, worth an estimated 700 million baht, 700 million baht in 184 bank accounts, three cars and about 100 electronic devices.

Police are still searching for the alleged leader of the online gambling network, a police officer identified as Pol Lt-Col Wasawat, aka “Inspector Sua”, who allegedly holds stakes or management positions in about 55 companies under the Pentor Group. A warrant has already been issued for his arrest.

The national police chief, Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittipraphat, personally interrogated “Thirapong” today, saying that the suspect is closely linked to Wasawat, as he sits on the board of several companies in the Pentor Group.

He also said that the suspect was issued with a summons for allegedly cheating a cabin crew member about five years ago.

“Thirapong” has denied all the charges against him.

CIB Commissioner Pol Lt-Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej said that most of these companies were set up to support illegal gambling operations. They are mostly involved in producing online games, computer programs, accounting, financial management, foreign exchange and marketing services.

He alleged that most of the companies are linked to more than 400 online gambling websites, about half of which have been shut down.