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Cops unearth new B30mn lottery leads

Cops unearth new B30mn lottery leads

BANGKOK: The Crime Suppression Division (CSD) has found new evidence in connection with the B30-million lottery scandal involving disputed winning tickets but it declined to say which claimant this favours: a local teacher or a former-police officer.

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By Bangkok Post

Saturday 10 February 2018, 08:56AM


The cash prizes totalling B30 million for this set of tickets have been frozen by the Government Lottery Office until ownership is settled. Photo: Post Today

The cash prizes totalling B30 million for this set of tickets have been frozen by the Government Lottery Office until ownership is settled. Photo: Post Today

CSD commander Maitree Chimcherd on Thursday (Feb 8) insisted that the fresh evidence will be useful as it can confirm or discredit the truth of statements given by two witnesses in the B30-million dispute.

They were introduced by Preecha Kraikruan, the teacher in Kanchanaburi who claims he purchased the jackpot-winning tickets.

The findings were compiled by an investigative team from the CSD’s sub-division 5 that was sent to the western province to investigate the case.

The team was led by CSD deputy chief Chakrit Sawasdee.

Mr Preecha lodged a police complaint in December against Lt Jaroon Wimol, who was in possession of the winning tickets at the time, for embezzlement. As a result, the cash prizes were frozen pending conclusion of the probe.

The case was originally handled by Provincial Police Region 7, which oversees Kanchanaburi and other western provinces.

It concluded Mr Preecha was the real owner of the tickets based on the testimony of witnesses.

Last Monday (Feb 5) Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, the national police chief, ordered regional police to transfer the case to the CSD after the probe results were met with scepticism from the public.

A police source said the regional investigators overlooked key evidence when wrapping up the probe.

The case took another turn the following day as Lt Jaroon submitted an audiotape recording of phone calls between Mr Preecha and Ratanaporn Supathip, a female lottery vendor who allegedly sold him the tickets.

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The segment of the clip most relevant to the investigation involves Mr Preecha denying to the vendor that he had won.

Asked whether more than 40 witnesses questioned by the regional police would be summoned to give testimony, Maj Gen Maitree said the CSD was not in a position to do this yet as no official order has been issued.

Once it receives such an order the investigation report will be forwarded to the proper division, which will consider who to summon, he said.

Maj Gen Maitree also denied a rumour that Ms Ratanaporn was detained and subjected to an “intense interrogation”.

He said he had no knowledge of this but that all of the CSD’s investigative procedures could be examined as they were carried out transparently.

Also on Thursday, Sittra Biabangkeod, secretary-general of the Lawyers for People Foundation, posted a message on his Facebook account urging the CSD to launch a probe into nine issues relating to the lottery case.

The issues include: who sold the lottery tickets; how many tickets were purchased, and how much did they cost in total; was the person who reportedly found the tickets on the ground male or female.

Col Chakrit said all of the issues requested by Mr Sittra have already been included in the comprehensive police investigation.

Read original story here.

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