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Thai police puzzled over disappearance of 140 million baht extortion money

PHOTO: Thai Rath

Show me the money!

It’s a mystery that has investigating officers baffled – where could 140 million baht in online gambling bribes have gone? That’s the amount allegedly paid to 12 police officers and 3 civilians implicated in an extortion racket involving an online gambling network.

According to a Thai PBS World report, Thailand’s deputy national police chief plans to summon a key gang member for further questioning. Surachate Hakparn, who is overseeing the investigation, says it’s hoped the operator of the gambling platform, named only as “Pe”, can shed further light on where the money might be as he allegedly paid some of the bribes.

To date, 10 out of the 12 police officers implicated in the scheme have turned themselves in to hear the charges against them and, after questioning by police, some have admitted to the charges.

However, the most senior officer involved, the commander of Chon Buri Provincial Police, has yet to do so. It’s understood that during an interrogation that lasted 2 hours on Sunday, June 18, Kampol Leelaprapaporn continued to deny the charges against him.

He is, however, expected to provide a statement to police within 5 days, according to Suarachate. Kampol has been transferred to the operations centre of the Royal Thai Police, along with 7 of his subordinates, pending the conclusion of the investigation.

In the case of the 3 civilians implicated, two men and a woman, one of the men has fled to Cambodia and the other man to Singapore. The woman, understood to be the wife of one of the men, is thought to be hiding out in Thailand.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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