Thirty-one people have been arrested on charges of operating gambling websites for a major criminal network, with about 1.2 billion baht in bets in circulation, during police raids in Bangkok and Chanthaburi.
Teams from the Police Cyber Taskforce (PCT) and the Metropolitan Police Bureau searched two locations in Bangkok and six in Chanthaburi after receiving information they were linked to the so-called Messi gambling network, according to Police TV.
A total of 31 people, 22 men and 9 women, were arrested during the raids in Bang Khen district of the capital and Muang district of Chanthaburi.
Investigators said the suspects operated 20 illegal gambling websites: Messi1688, Messibet168, Messinow, PD747, MGM747, Ambgold, slotxo44, luckycat777, jokercat44, Joinslot777, Slothitz, 24supergame, Cupid789, Siamslot88, Jokerxoth, 365superslot, slotxoth, Megawin, Partygclub and Pgslot.
More than 50 computers, 21 bank books and three cars were seized as evidence from the eight locations. Officers also seized about 70 million baht in cash from the network, which they said had about 1.2 billion baht in circulation.
The suspects were handed over to the Chana Songkhram and Bang Khen police stations in Bangkok and the Muang police station in Chanthaburi for legal action.
An extended investigation had shed light on major gambling operators and others involved in the network, said Pol Maj Gen Theeradej Thamsuthee, head of the 5th PCT operations team who led the raids. At least 20 arrest warrants had been approved, he added.
Police plan to work with the Anti-Money Laundering Office to seize more assets of those involved in the gambling network.