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Bangkok Criminal Court Jails Thirty Three People Over Lottery Scam

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BANGKOK – A criminal Court has sentenced 33 defendants, including executive officers of cooperatives and companies, to jail terms of 2-11 years and ordered to pay more than one billion baht in compensation to 13 savings cooperatives over a 2009 lottery scam.

The Criminal Court delivered its ruling on Wednesday this week on a case filed by public prosecutors against 54 defendants for alleged fraud, embezzlement and money laundering.

The charges stem from a bogus lottery tickets scheme which caused losses totalling 25 billion baht to 13 savings cooperatives nationwide.

During the lengthy legal proceedings, one of the defendants fled and two others died.

Of the remaining 51 defendants, the court sentenced 33 of them to prison terms ranging from 2 years and 3 months to 11 years and 3 months, depending on their degree of culpability.

They were also to pay compensation totalling 1.049 billion baht to the 13 saving cooperatives. The court acquitted the 18 other defendants, media reported.

In September 2012, the Department of Special Investigation indicted former senator Srisuk Rungwisai and 13 others over a lottery pyramid scheme.

The DSI investigation concluded that Srisopa Marketing Co and Thewasit Phikhanet Co, which are linked to Mr Srisuk, and Jumbo Supply and Service Co, had signed 18 contracts with several cooperatives to provide them with lottery tickets at a cheap price.

In reality, these firms did not have contracts with the Government Lottery Office as claimed, and failed to deliver any tickets to the cooperatives.

The court proceedings began on Aug 8 last year and finished in February this year, the reports said.

The plaintiff called 53 witnesses and the defence 56.

None of the reports named those sentenced to prison, or those acquitted.

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