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Guns, cars and B2mn cash seized in Phuket gambling raid

PHUKET: More than 30 officers and armed soldiers arrested at least 62 suspects and seized 56 cars and motorbikes – as well as several firearms and nearly B2 million in cash – in a raid on a gambling den north of Phuket Town on Saturday afternoon (May 27).

crime, police, military,

Eakkapop Thongtub

Monday 29 May 2017, 10:53AM

The raid on the house, in Soi Tha Jeen off Rassada-nusorn Rd in Rassada, began after 4pm. The house sits on a two-rai plot fenced off with a three-metre high wall, with a steel-plate front gate and a CCTV camera.

On entering the property, officers arrested 34 men and 28 women engaged in gambling while playing the “Turtle, Crab, Fish” game of chance.

Officers also seized B1,955,086 in cash, 22 cars and 34 motorbikes, one shotgun and four handguns, 12 rounds of .380 bullets, 27 rounds of .45 bullets, and 233 gambling chips.

All suspects were taken to Phuket City Police Station for further questioning and to be charged.

After the raid, Col Kriangkrai Srirak, commander of the Special Task Force of the 25th Infantry Regiment, which is based in Phuket, told the press that the raid was ordered by Lt Gen Piyawat Nakwanit after officers received a tip-off.

Gen Piyawat is Commander of the Fourth Army Region base in Nakhon Sri Thammarat, and as such is is the top-ranking Army officer for all of Southern Thailand.

Also, officers were now investigating reports that the house was rented by former Phuket politician Jirayut Songyod, Phuket City Police Chief Col Kamol Osiri told the press.

The house reportedly had been used as a venue for gambling for a long time.

Mr Jirayut’s family home in Phuket was raided in February last year after police carried out a dawn raid on the home of his brother, Srisoonthorn Mayor Worawut Songyos, where firearms were seized. (See story here.)

Those raids on the Songyos’ homes followed Mayor Worawut filing a formal complaint against overzealous police raiding homes of the Songyos family without a search warrant in December 2015.

That raid, carried out by more than 20 officers, was aimed at arresting Padungsak Songyos on a charge of issuing a bad cheque. (See story here.)

It was not clear whether or not a warrant was presented to raid the house on Saturday.

Also, none of the cash seized in the raid was presented to the press.



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