Thai Police Continue Investigation Into Gambling Network Allegedly Involving High Level Police


On February 21st, 2024, Pol. Maj. Gen. Charoonkiat Pankaew, the Central Investigation Bureau Deputy Commissioner, publicly revealed case progress on the gambling “Minnie” network linked to high-ranked police officers including Pol. Gen. Surachet “Big Joke” Hakphan, the Deputy National Police Chief.

Surachet, however, has since held a press conference and said he was completely innocent and not officially charged with anything.

Read a previous story about Thai police searching a residence of Pol. Gen. Surachet who was allegedly involved in an online gambling network.

According to Pol. Maj. Gen. Charoonkiat, the case could be divided into two cases, the first case had 61 suspects involved in the gambling “Minnie” network in both people in general and police officers. Upon further investigation, another case had five high-ranked police officers allegedly involved in the gambling network.

The Thai National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) was investigating the case involving high-ranked police officers before handing the case to the police as it had a connection to a gambling network, said Pol. Maj. Gen. Charoonkiat.

One of the high-ranked officers, Pol. Gen. Surachet, was allegedly being pressed on charges according to Sections 157 and 149: neglecting to perform duties honestly and receiving property unlawfully, respectively. NACC would prosecute money laundering offenses for five individuals if further evidence was found, said Pol. Maj. Gen. Charoonkiat.

However, Pol. Maj. Gen. Charoonkiat asserted that the case was investigated just and fairly without political involvement. The financial transaction of 300 million baht in the gambling network was found to have police officers’ involvement. The matter could not be overlooked and needed investigation, said Pol. Maj. Gen. Charoonkiat.

The investigative police performed their duty of transparency according to the facts and evidence. The court will prosecute the accused according to said evidence with just and fair, Pol. Maj. Gen. Charoonkiat.

Upon further police investigation, there were mule accounts from other websites apart from the Minnie network. It was still under thorough investigation to find involved individuals, remarked Pol. Maj. Gen. Charoonkiat.

At 10:00 AM, on February 22nd, 2024, Pol. Gen. Surachet held a press conference to clarify allegations related to the gambling network. The police sent a case to the NACC last year, however, the case was not returned to the police, believing that they were arguing among themselves and the NACC refused to be a tool for the police, as they are an agency that upholds justice and investigates corruption directly, said Pol. Gen. Surachet.

During the press conference, Pol. Gen. Surachet asserted that as of press time, the police pressed no charge against him and he believed that he was innocent. Only his subordinates were informed of the charges, stated Pol. Lt. Gen. Surachet.

According to the law, cases of money laundering with a value of 300 million baht or more fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI). The police did not have the authority to investigate. Pol. Gen. Surachet. said those who violated the law’s principles may be put in jail.

“The NACC did not trust the police investigation process, potentially leading to a conflict between the two organizations. Therefore, Pol. Lt. Gen. Surache recommended that high-ranking officers speak up for their subordinates like he did,” Pol. Lt. Gen. Surachet said.

Pol. Lt. Gen. Surachet emphasized that he had no involvement with the gambling “Minnie” network.

Kittisak Phalaharn
Kittisak has a passion for outgoings no matter how tough it will be, he will travel with an adventurous style. As for his interests in fantasy, detective genres in novels and sports science books are parts of his soul. He works for Pattaya News as the latest writer.