Crime Suppression Division police have arrested a wealthy computer programmer, his actress wife and another man for allegedly operating a major gambling website and a pornographic website.
They also impounded assets, including many luxury cars, houses and high-end watches, worth over 700 million baht for examination.
Phumphat Prasertwit, 42, Chetchai Hongkham, 38, and Mr Phumphat’s wife Thamolphan Phanuchitputthiwong, 40 were detained under arrest warrants issued by the Criminal Court on Dec 13 for allegedly colluding in disseminating pornographic material, organising online gambling or enticing people to gamble online, conspiring to commit money laundering and colluding in laundering money.
Police seized from them 14 vehicles — 6 supercars including Lamborghini, Ferrari and McLaren, 6 luxury cars including Porsche, Benz and BMW, and two motorcycles — cash in Thai and foreign currencies worth about 42 million baht, eight luxury watches such as Richard Mille, Patek Philippe, Rolex and Omega, 50 brand-name bags, five computers, 18 mobile phones, 44 bank accounts, four luxury houses and other assets.
The combined worth of the seized assets was over 700 million baht, Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej, commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB), told reporters when announcing the arrests on Friday.
Police had spent more than two years investigating a major gambling network, www.ufa24h.net, and a pornographic website, hd.star4k.com, and following the money trail of the two websites, which were both linked to Mr Phumphat and his wife Thamolphan.
The couple directly benefitted from collecting membership fees and organising gambling via the websites. Mr Chetchai was tasked with withdrawing money sent by people who placed bets and giving it to Mr Phumphat.
According to the CIB chief, Mr Chetchai had made more than 38 cash withdrawals totalling 400 million baht between April and September this year on the orders of Mr Phumphat.
Crime suppression police searched a house in Bang Krui district of Nonthaburi and arrested the three suspects on Dec 15, Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop said.
Investigators found that the gambling website had about 40,000 customers and about 7 billion baht in monthly circulation, he said.
Thamolphan, known as “Yam”, was a former TV actress. She and her family had made news headlines in March when they fled from a fire at Soneva Kiri luxury resort on Koh Kut in Trat.
Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej, commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB), and other officers inspect luxury cars seized from former actress Thamolphan “Yam” Phanuchitputthiwong and her husband. (Photo supplied/ Wassayos Ngamkham)