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Police Arrest Two Sisters Running Illegal Online Gambling Website

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Police Arrest Two Sisters Running Illegal Online Gambling Website
Punika Arayasuwan, 41, and Pratthana Arayasuwan, 39, were wanted on arrest warrants: RTP Image

(CTNNews) – Cyber Crime police have arrested two sisters in northern Thailand’s Lampang province on accusations of running an illegal online gambling website with a circulation of over 700 million baht.

Yesterday, the women were arrested, along with four staff members, during raids on three properties in the northern province. Two companies in Lampang and Chiang Mai were seized and their owners detained after sending millions of online messages encouraging betting.

Ms. Punika Arayasuwan, 41, and Ms. Pratthana Arayasuwan, 39, were wanted on arrest warrants issued by the Chiang Mai Provincial Court for running an online gambling organization, inciting people to gamble, and money laundering.

Officers from the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB) investigated three houses in Lampang’s tambon Bo Haew, CCIB Commissioner Pol Lt Gen Worawat Watnakhonbancha told Thai media.

Officers detained four website administrators and marketing staff members, including the two sisters, three males and one woman. Tiyanon Arayasuwan, 39; Bodin Jaita, 33; Chaiyawit Arwad, 39; and Thippapha Seekham, 25.

Four cars, four motorcycles, over 200,000 baht in cash, diamond ornaments, and brand-name bags were seized from the houses. The seized items were worth around 20 million baht.

Police Raided Three Homes

Pol Lt Gen Worawat stated that investigations discovered that the website “hppoipet” had placed adverts to induce individuals to gamble online. They later discovered that the business was based in three houses in Lampang.

When authorities arrived at one of the residences, they discovered the two sisters and the staff conversing with gambling customers online. According to Pol Lt Gen Worawat, the facility featured a food store in the front and a bedroom inside outfitted with IT equipment to administer the website.

During inquiry, Ms Punika and Ms Pratthana revealed that they previously worked as public relations representatives for a casino in the Cambodian border town of Poipet, which attracts hundreds of Thai punters.

When they returned to Thailand, their brother-in-law saw a chance to earn money. He approached a Cambodian operator about purchasing a franchise to run the HPPOIPET website in Thailand, and he also owned interests in a Cambodian gambling website.

The two ladies stated that they had been doing the business in Lampang for 7 years and collected commissions ranging from 10% to 20% of the amount gambled. According to the CCIB chief, the website had more than 5,000 customers, including Thai and Cambodian citizens, and over 700 million baht in circulation.

The other suspects, who worked as website administrators, received 8,000 to 14,000 baht per month. Another lady, Kotchakorn Iang-on, 28, is being sought after opening a bank account with revenues from the website, according to Pol Lt Gen Worawat.

Two Businesses Raided

On Thursday, another team of CCIB officials raided two businesses in Lampang and Chiang Mai after discovering that they had used internet chat platforms to induce individuals to gamble.

The officers arrested the proprietors of the two businesses and accused them with aiding a gambling organization, according to the CCIB chief.

According to the police investigation, Havesms Co in Chiang Mai sends one billion messages per year and earns around 100 million baht. Dav Fong Co of Lampang sent 40 million texts every year and earned 4 million baht.

Online gambling is still a difficult issue in Thailand. The country’s gambling rules are vague, allowing for interpretation. While most kinds of gambling are theoretically prohibited, enforcement is lax.

As a result, underground gambling thrives, with many Thais routinely betting online, especially on sports and casino games.

However, a lack of regulation means no consumer protections, which increases the danger of fraud and exploitation. Authorities regularly crack down on prominent operators, but the internet gambling industry thrives, propelled by high demand and inadequate regulation.

The CTNNews editorial team comprises seasoned journalists and writers dedicated to delivering accurate, timely news coverage. They possess a deep understanding of current events, ensuring insightful analysis. With their expertise, the team crafts compelling stories that resonate with readers, keeping them informed on global happenings.

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