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Phuket Provincial Police Chief probed over gambling den raid

Phuket Provincial Police Chief probed over gambling den raid

PHUKET: Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Pornsak Nuannoo and two other top-ranking officers have been transferred pending an investigation into their relationships with suspects arrested in a gambling den raid at a resort on Koh Siray, east of Phuket Town, last month.

By The Phuket News

Sunday 1 August 2021, 12:15PM

Senior officers discuss the raid after the arrests on July 17. Photo: Phuket City Police

Senior officers discuss the raid after the arrests on July 17. Photo: Phuket City Police

Region 8 Police Commander Lt Gen Kitrat Panpetch issued an order yesterday (July 31) to transfer the two top-ranking officers of the Phuket Provincial Police and one senior officer of the Chalong Police to temporarily work at the Region 8 headquarters at the northern end of the island while the investigation is carried out.

Lt Gen Kitrat identified those transferred by position only, as the Phuket Provincial Police Commander, a position currently served by Maj Pornsak Nuannoo; the Phuket Provincial Police Investigation Division Chief, better known as Col Bandit Khaosutham; and Chalong Police Sub-inspector, known by his fellow officers as Lt Col Pornprasit Wenthong.

The order to transfer the officers was marked to be in effect from today (Aug 1) until a further order is issued.

Lt Gen Kitrat on July 19 transferred the five top-ranking officers at Phuket City Police Station pending an investigation as to why the gambling den was allowed to operate.

The officers transferred were Phuket City Police Chief Col Theerawat Liamsuwan, Deputy Chief of Crime Suppression Lt Col Chakkrit Taewattana, Deputy Chief of Investigation Lt Col Sathit Nurit, Crime Suppression Inspector Lt Col Boonchai Charoenhattakit and Investigation Inspector Lt Col Thapthai Leelanon.

The gambling raid on July 17 was conducted at a resort villa on Koh Siray where police arrested gamblers playing baccarat. Officers also seized betting chips which were marked to represent a total value of about B12 million.

The venue was known as the ‘Dragon Tiger’ gambling den. One of the 28 gamblers arrested was reported to be a local politician.

The order for the raid came from Pol Maj Gen Jiraphop Phuridet, Deputy Commissioner of the national Central Investigation Bureau (CIB).

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It is not the first time a slew of top-ranking police officers in Phuket have been probed over illegal gambling dens operating in their area.

As recently as last year, Royal Thai Police deputy spokesman Col Krissana Phattanacharoen announced from Bangkok that the national police headquarters had been notified of raids on two gambling dens, one in Phuket Town and another in Srisoonthorn, that netted 87 people for illegal gambling.

Maj Gen Rungrote Thakurapunyasiri, Phuket Provincial Police Chief at the time, had ordered the top five high-ranking officers at both Phuket City Police Station and Thalang Police Station to be immediately transferred to Phuket Provincial Police Station while an investigation into the gambling dens is carried out, Col Krissana said.

“As written in the Police Order no. 1212/2537, if any police action is found to be unlawful or corrupt, the officers must be prosecuted under the law and regulations strictly, without any exception,” Col Krissana assured.

“However, we have to wait for the result of the investigation to determine whether the police ignored the gambling venues or not, in order to be fair for everyone,” he said.

The results of that investigation have yet to be revealed.

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JohnC | 02 August 2021 - 09:01:40

Again!!!! I must be blatantly obvious even to this so-called PM that transferring corrupt officials DOES NOT STOP THEM REOFFENDING. It just gives them new opportunities to find ways of making tea money. Immediate suspension without pay pending investigation or trial is the only way to make them sit up and think about what they have done.

Kurt | 02 August 2021 - 03:07:24

Hahaha, why the gambling den was allowed to operate? That question is a thick skin joke. Because the gambling den did pay bribes/protection money, of course.  Someone in RTP f...ed up to initiate the raid. The always repeating phrase "we must be fair to/for everyone" makes a person who believes in justice to vomit.

Kurt | 02 August 2021 - 02:24:14

The who Phuket RTP top brass exposed. Wow. Next in line RTP boys stand by to take over their lucrative jobs. Hope they learn on forehand not to f..k around with Hi-So's and politicians who visit gamble-dens that are well known and seen as 'safe' by the population.

Capricornball | 01 August 2021 - 17:58:11

Ahhh...another instance of the police investigating the police.  I'm sure we're all waiting to see some dirty cops get what's coming to them...but all that comes to them is a different job, and a quiet release out of the force to go spend their ill-gotten gains.  Perhaps this is how the next rank of thieves finally get the promotion they paid for.

Nasa12 | 01 August 2021 - 15:46:29

Well well some of this top ranked RTP are very rich. Inside Land&House some of them have house to 20 million up + 4 very expensive cars. 


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