An Indian-Thai couple has confessed to police that they were the ones who arranged a casino in a Pattaya hotel. They thought they could bribe law enforcement officers to turn a blind eye, Pattaya police said.
First our previous story:
Now our update:
The couple, Mr. Divyesh Ashokkumarr Pathar, 32, of Indian nationality and Ms. Sitranan Kaewlor, 32, of Thai nationality were arrested following a casino bust in Pattaya last night, May 1st.
Over 93 people were arrested, 83 of whom were Indians. They are still in police custody including the couple.
During a two-hour police interrogation, Mr. Divyesh and Ms. Sitranan reportedly admitted that they saw a business opportunity in operating a casino targeting Indian tourists. The two said this was because while they had been engaged in the Indian tour business for more than five years, they noticed that Indian people like to gamble.
Responding to a question of why they did not fear law enforcement, the couple claimed that they had paid two Thai men identified only as Phakin and Eak who claimed they could bribe police to overlook their illegal casino operations. The couple stated that they had paid the two men more than 2.4 million baht for this service. However, it was later discovered that these claims were false and the men, who are still on the run, were just lying.
Meanwhile, Pol. Col. Thanapong Phothi, Superintendent of the Pattaya Police Station, had already come out to deny the bribe allegations though he promised serious legal action against any officers involved if it was found.
The suspects are being detained at the Pattaya Police Station, Nong Prue Police Station and Banglamung Police Station.
Indian media reported that Chikoti Praveen, an infamous Indian casino organizer, is the ring leader of this whole unlawful gambling operations. He was also arrested yesterday and is being questioned. This allegation, however, has not been confirmed or denied by Thai police and indeed, not even mentioned.