The tickets belong to the teacher who said he lost the tickets after buying them, investigators said yesterday (Jan 31), announcing their conclusion.
Lt Gen Kittipong Ngaomuk, commissioner of the Provincial Police Region 7, said witnesses confirmed that a vendor at Red City market in Kanchanaburi’s Muang district sold the set of winning lottery tickets to Preecha Khraikhruan, a 50-year-old teacher of Thepmongkol Rangsee School in Muang district.
There were also witnesses and surveillance camera confirmation that retired policeman Charoon Wimool, 62, found the dropped tickets.
The camera was about 20 metres from the lottery stall that sold the winning tickets, Kittipong said.
Lt Gen Kittipong said Lt Charoon would not be charged with embezzlement because no eyewitness could specifically confirm he picked up the tickets. The footage showed someone picked them up, but it was not clear who. He will be charged with receiving stolen property.
As Lt Charoon cashed in the set of winning tickets from the Nov 1 draw, Mr Preecha filed a complaint against him and each side has since insisted on being the owner.
Lt Gen Kittipong said the investigation traced the tickets. Ticket wholesalers sold the five lottery tickets with the winning number to a big wholesaler in Sanam Bin Nam area of Nonthaburi province, where they were stapled together for resale.
The set was sold to a vendor at Red City market in Kanchanaburi and then sold-on to another vendor at the market before the teacher bought it.
Lt Charoon said the police finding came as no surprise. He insisted he purchased the lottery tickets from a vendor at Red City market. He never bought lottery tickets from a regular street vendor.
He would report to police if a summons were issued, but would not return the money from the lottery prize to the teacher, as the man was not the real owner of the winning tickets.
“The winning lottery tickets are worth B30mn. Of that amount, I have already spent B5mn paying for my house and a car,” the retired policeman said.
The remaining B25mn had been frozen in his bank account and he would not willingly return it. The issue could go to court.
“If asked to return the B25mn to the teacher, I will not do so, because he is not the owner of the money. I am.
“I don’t know why police said I picked up the lottery tickets. In fact, I am the one who bought this set of tickets,” he said.
His lawyer, Sittra Biabungkerd, posted a message on his Facebook account confirming the case is not yet settled.
He said one witness claimed seeing his client pick up the tickets, but did not confirm the six-digit number on them.
He alleged there was an organised gang involved, without going into detail, but earlier alleged a senior police officer was involved.
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