In a dramatic turn of events, local authorities apprehended 93 individuals, predominantly Indian citizens, during a covert operation at the renowned Asia Pattaya Hotel situated in Chonburi’s Bang Lamung district in the wee hours of Monday.
Upon raiding the hotel’s notorious Sampao room, law enforcement officials discovered gambling tables and chips, playing cards, intricate CCTV camera systems, and smartphones, all of which were promptly confiscated. The suspects were caught red-handed, engaged in various card games and other gambling activities.
The eclectic group taken into custody comprised of 83 Indian nationals, four individuals hailing from Myanmar, and six Thai citizens. The intriguing case unfolded as the primary suspect, Sitranan Kaewlor (32), admitted to charging her Indian clientele a staggering 50,000 baht each in exchange for a comprehensive package, which included accommodation, food, flights, and transportation services. Furthermore, Kaewlor disclosed that she had rented the hotel room for an exorbitant 120,000 baht with the intention of transforming it into an illicit gambling den for her Indian guests.
As the case unraveled, Thai authorities revealed that the local suspects had allegedly confessed to bribing government officials with a whopping 2 million baht to secure a smooth, uninterrupted operation of the illegal casino. Pattaya police chief Col Thanapong Phothi confirmed on Tuesday that the bribery allegations are under investigation, and any implicated officials will be dealt with in accordance with the law.
Meanwhile, Col Phothi divulged that the suspects have been strategically divided into two categories: the operators of the gambling den and the Indian gamblers themselves. The gamblers have been temporarily detained to facilitate further inquiry, given the significance of the ongoing investigation.
The local police force is currently in the process of compiling and submitting the case against the suspects to the Pattaya Provincial Court, as they meticulously unravel the intricate web of illegality in this high-stakes gambling fiasco. With tensions escalating, the outcome of the case remains uncertain, as authorities grapple with the complexities of bribery, illicit gambling, and an international clientele.