Pattaya Police busted a casino and arrested 93 people. The casino had a money circulation of over 1 billion rupees (418 million baht), according to police.
The casino was hidden in the Asia Hotel in Soi Pratumnak 4 in Pattaya, said police. Pattaya Police led by Pol. Col. Thanapong Phothi, superintendent of the Pattaya Police Station, stormed the place at midnight today, May 1st, after receiving information from a concerned citizen that Indian tourists had rented the hotel’s conference room to operate a casino. The concerned citizen was worried that Thai laws were being broken.
The conference room had been rented since April 27th, Col. Thanapong told The Pattaya News.
The officers arrested 93 people found at the site. They were playing baccarat and blackjack.
Although some gamblers attempted to run away, they were unsuccessful since police had surrounded the hotel prior to the raid. Of the arrested were 93 Indians, 4 Myanmar nationals, and 6 Thais. 71 were men and 16 were women, the other arrested suspects genders were not given.
Col. Thanapong said he seized 4 baccarat tables and 3 blackjack tables, 25 decks of cards, 209 million (in terms of worth) gambling chips, 160,000 rupees, 8 CCTV cameras, 92 mobile phones, 3 laptops, 1 iPad, and 3 card shufflers from the site.
The authorities also confiscated 4 shisha pipes, which are also illegal in Thailand, and a credit book, which indicated that the casino had a total money circulation of over 1 billion rupees.
According to Col. Thanapong, one of the arrested, Ms. Sitranan Kaewlor, 32, admitted to being in charge of the venue. She confessed that she charged Indian tourists 50,000 baht per person for accommodation, meals, and airport transportation to the hotel.
Ms. Sitranan reportedly rented the room at a price of 120,000 baht, although it was unclear what the rental period was. She let people gamble from the afternoon until the early morning and prohibited hotel staff from entering the room for cleaning. She also collaborated with a Thai person only identified as Phakin for the equipment and card dealer, which directly flew from India.
Col. Thanapong said police are taking legal action against the 93 suspects for gambling. Police are also charging the casino operators for hiring illegal migrant workers without work permits.
The superintendent pledged that he will expand the investigation to arrest every accomplice of this unlawful organization.
Thailand has some of the strictest anti-gambling laws in the world, notes TPN media.