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Gambling websites' bank accounts frozen

Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has frozen over Bt10 million in bank accounts of at least six gambling websites pending further investigation, after the initial probe found that some 1,000 accounts might be involved in the crime, DSI chief Tarit Pengdit said yesterday.

Reporting the DSI investigation progress into online gambling activities including football betting and online casino, Tarit said that, after he had assigned this job to his deputy Pol Col Yannapol Yangyuen, the working team seized over Bt10 million in bank accounts of gambling websites. He said more than 1,000 bank accounts connected with student and general people were allegedly linked to the online gambling sites - about 20 accounts of these were reportedly identified as the bookies' hence DSI froze more than Bt10 million in the 20 accounts.

DSI investigators are issuing summon warrants for all the frozen accounts' owners to testify, he said. DSI also planned to summon other 100 punters to meet the investigators, he added.

DSI investigation found that the bookies had arranged for at least 200 punters to join gambling activities at foreignbased websites and had operated as an organisation with clear work division including manager, accountant, telephone operator, and money withdrawer person. Some major bookie could have the money flow worth at least Bt200 millionBt500 million a month, while a smaller bookie could get Bt10 million.

To accommodate the punters, the bookies had people transferred money into Thailandbased bank accounts, which they had hired others to open such accounts for this. The bank accounts would be active for a while before they closed and created new accounts (as well as moving their operating offices) every three months hence it was difficult to catch them, he added.




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