Bangkok police netted nearly 500 suspects allegedly involved in online football gambling during June 14-20 and will summon 20 “Net Idol” product presenters accused of posting statements to social media attempting to persuade youths to engage in soccer betting.
Police have arrested 484 suspects – including eight bookies, 474 punters and two ticket-runners – and seized evidence including Bt63,360 cash, 17 bank account books showing a sum of Bt343,000, and some football betting tickets worth Bt210,860, said Metropolitan police deputy commissioner Pol Maj-General Panurat Lakboon said on Thursday.
Speaking in his capacity as director of the city's football gambling suppression centre during the Fifa World Cup 2018 tournament running until July 15, Panurat also reported that police had completed legal actions against 11 “Net Idols”. The “pretties” had confessed to reading a script given to them by the people who hired them. Their employers were associated with football gambling websites and the presenters claimed to be unaware that their actions were illegal, said Panurat.
Each of the presenters was sentenced by a court to a one-year suspended jail term and a Bt1,000 fine, he said. Another 20 “Net Idols” would be summoned to face the same legal actions on June 25, he added.
He said police were still trying to identify from their social media accounts some 100 “Net Idols” accused of the same offence.