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Fire Guts Police Records Building in Bangkok, Over 50 Fire Engines Summoned

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Fire Guts Police Records Building

Early on Saturday, more than 50 firetrucks and firefighters were summoned to a fire at a building in Bangkok that housed official police records. There were no casualties reported.

According to firefighters the fire started at about 4am at the Metropolitan Police Division 5 building on Sathon Road in the Thung Mahamek neighborhood. The three-story building was engulfed in flames. Police closed off all roads within a kilometer of the building, as loud explosion-like noises could frequently be heard.

It took firefighters more than an hour to put out the fire. At the time, nobody was present within the structure. In the vicinity of the burning building, seven parked cars suffered damage.

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Early on Saturday morning in Bangkok’s Sathon district, firefighters battle a blaze at a Metropolitan Police Division 5 building. The three-story structure that housed official records suffered significant damage.

Chadchart Sittipunt, the governor of Bangkok, hurried to the scene just as he was about to begin his morning workout.

According to Governor Chadchart, a police officer manning the building noticed a stack of documents on fire and heard a loud noise that sounded like an electric short circuit coming from the first floor of the structure. The governor claimed that after failing to put out the flames with a fire extinguisher, the officer called the firemen.

According to Metropolitan Police Bureau the building’s roof collapsed due to a fire that started on the first level and soon spread to the second and third floors. The entire structure was severely destroyed.

According to the city police chief, the building housed official documents, and officers would check to see if key cases’ files were maintained there. He stated that a panel would be assembled to look into what started the fire.

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Police Freeze Assets of Gambling Syndicate

Police claim they plan to seize more holders of “mule” accounts and freeze further assets of a multi-billion-baht gambling network reportedly controlled by a policeman known as “Inspector Sua”. Authorities raided 63 places nationwide on Friday connected to Pol Lt Col Wasawat Mukurasakul, alias “Inspector Sua,” who is reportedly hiding abroad, the Bangkok Post reported.

Together with five owners of mule accounts, police also detained Mr. Theerapong or Jiew, who are believed to be close associates of Inspector Sua.

Despite giving helpful information, Mr. Theerapong continued to deny several allegations of fraud, according to Pol Col. Anek Taosupab, deputy commander of the Crime Suppression Division (CSD), on Saturday.

To stop them from tampering with the evidence, Pol Col Anek stated that police would apply for a warrant to have Mr. Theerapong and five other suspects arrested.

The Central Investigation Bureau’s (CIB) head, Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej, has directed increased efforts to find the gambling network‘s last surviving mule account holders in Bangkok, Pathum Thani, and Nonthaburi.

According to him, police are collaborating with the Department of Lands to examine assets seized in the eastern regions before broadening the investigation to apprehend more people and freeze further assets.

The main targets of Friday’s raids were Pol Lt Col Wasawat’s residence and businesses under the Pentor Group banner, most of which were situated in Ram Intra Soi 5 in the capital’s Bang Khen district. The raids also targeted companies acting as nominees for the officer and the homes of his associates.

The CIB is searching the accused officer’s homes and businesses for financial documents and proof of asset transfers.

Another target was a residence on the Chuanchuen housing complex in Bang Khen’s Tha Raeng neighbourhood, where Mr. Theerapong and five other mule account owners were apprehended.

Mr. Theerapong worked in executive positions at six Pentor Group companies.

Three cars—a Lexus, a Mercedes-Benz, and an Audi—along with title deeds for 446 rai totaling 700 million baht, 184 bank passbooks, and 100 electronic items—worth more than 1.4 billion baht were taken by police during the operation.

Also, Samut Prakan police raided the network and recovered 30 grams of ketamine and roughly 20 million baht in cash.

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