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Russians and Ukrainian arrested in gambling den raid

PHOTO: Thai Rath

Police in Phuket have raided a home where a group of Russians and a Ukrainian were gambling at a poker table.

Khaosod English reports that officers from Phuket City Police Station raided the property in the sub-district of Rassada, east of Phuket Town, in the early hours of yesterday morning, March 20. They were acting on a tip-off that foreigners were using the house for illegal gambling activities.

Police found a group of Russian men and women, and a Ukrainian man gambling at a casino-style poker table. All the players were arrested, with officers also confiscating evidence including the poker table, 3 decks of cards, 318 chips (worth about 79,600 baht), a dealer button, and an hourglass.

The arrested Russians have been named as Mr. Evgeni Vlegzhanin, Mr. Rodion Elonov, Mr. Ruslan Kolontyrski, and Ms. Ekaterina Morozova. The arrested Ukrainian, who was the dealer, has been named as Oleksandr Shpetny. All 5 suspects were taken to the Phuket Provincial Police Investigation Division for questioning.

Mr. Shpetny and Ms. Morozova have been charged with “being a bookmaker and accepting bets on poker games for money illegally.” Officers charged Mr. Vlegzhanin, Mr. Elonov, and Mr. Kolondyrski with “participating in a poker game for money illegally”. It’s understood that Mr. Shpetny, Mr. Vlegzhanin, Mr. Elonov and Mr. Kolondyrski have confessed to the charges, while Ms. Morozova denies the charges.

According to the report, officers had been monitoring the group for some time and had previously tried to catch them in the act, but were unable to do so as the property was heavily guarded. In addition, the players used chips instead of cryptocurrencies or cash, making it more difficult for the authorities to catch them.

SOURCE: Khaosod English

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