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Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Says Legalizing Gambling Would Raise Tax Income



Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Says Legalizing Gambling Would Raise Tax Income

Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Somsak Thepsutin, has said more types of gambling should be legalised, such as on football, to raise tax income that may be used to support those in need.

Following the arrests of online gambling suspects and searches of facilities on Monday, Mr Somsak, who controls the Justice Ministry, said at Government House on Tuesday that legalising gaming was a different way of looking at the issue.

As part of a crackdown on a massive internet gambling network, cyber crime police on Monday conducted raids on many locations in Bangkok, including the home of deputy national police commander Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn.

“Gambling on fighting cocks and bulls is legal but other kinds of gambling, such as on football, are not,” Mr. Somsak stated. Taxation is harmful to the state and the people. It would be beneficial if these were subject to taxation in the same way that the Ministry of the Interior does with other forms of gaming.

He had requested that the appropriate authorities investigate the idea, with a view towards submitting a proposal to the cabinet at a later date.

“It would be useful because there are a lot of dollars involved in internet gaming. The deputy prime minister remarked that the money would be well spent if it were allocated to programmes that assist the disabled, the elderly, and children from low-income families.

In a Digital Society and Economy Minister Prasert Chantararuangthong reported that his department has shut down 4,400 gambling websites and pursued legal action in 6,000 instances of online gambling this year.

Deputy national police chief files criminal complaint

Meanwhile, Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn, deputy national police commander, filed a complaint with the Criminal Court on Tuesday, accusing law enforcement of contempt of court in their warrant application for Monday’s searches of numerous residences he uses.

According to Pol Gen Surachate’s comments to media, the application for search warrants omitted relevant information from the court.

He claimed that the police used excessive force during the searches, which damaged his reputation, and that they failed to notify the court that he was living in the five properties.

Bangkok’s cybercrime police conducted early Monday morning raids of homes on Vibhavadi 60 Road. The attack was part of a broader plot against a network of internet casinos.

According to the deputy police chief, a police inspector who is a close aide of his was the target of the searches, therefore the officers conducting the searches would have known where he lived.

Pol Gen Surachate claimed, “If the court had known that they are my houses, it would have acted fairly, because I do not face prosecution.”

When asked about the arrests made during the police operation, he indicated that even his closest subordinates would be filing complaints due to their alleged involvement in online gambling.

Royal Thailand Police deny involvement

The deputy national police commander stated that because police personnel are government employees whose whereabouts are known and who would not attempt to flee, the court would have issued summonses instead of arrest warrants.

“This situation demonstrates cover-up, leading to justified suspicion… “How can the people get fair treatment if not even the deputy national police chief gets it?” Said Police General Surachate.

He said that the requests for arrest warrants against his subordinates left out their police ranks in favour of simply listing their names.

General Surachate of the Thai Police Force denied any involvement in the online gambling industry. Pol Gen Surachate replied that while it was true that some of his subordinates had a relationship with a suspect involved in online gambling, it was an individual’s business and had nothing to do with him.

The deputy national police chief claims that on Monday, officers searched all five of his residences. He claimed they belonged to a relative who is a wealthy entrepreneur in Udon Thani.

Since he is originally from the southern province of Songkhla, he rented the houses to make his time in Bangkok more comfortable. Two of the homes were his residences, while the other three served as warehouses.

He had talked to Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas, the head of the national police, right after the searches.

According to him, the national police head admitted to him that he had been aware of the possibility of the searches and had instructed the officers involved to alert him in advance. Pol Gen Surachate revealed that he had alerted the national police commander of the searches after they had already taken place.

What this signifies is that the (search) order did not come from the head of police at the national level. I now declare my intention to pursue legal action against the responsible parties… Someone must have requested it, right? Pol Gen Surachate has stated that the issue is on politics inside the Royal Thai Police Office.

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