Detention of Lamphun Warriors FC Chairman on Illegal Gambling and Money Laundering Charges
Pongsiri “Boss Than” Thanratchawongsuek, the chairman of Lamphun Warriors Football Club, is currently being held in Bangkok Remand Prison following arrest warrants related to illegal gambling and money laundering charges. His associate, Phassakorn Chanmayom, is also being detained for questioning.
Both Pongsiri and Phassakorn denied all charges when they were brought to the Criminal Court. The authorities opposed bail on the grounds of potential flight risk and the significant financial damages involved, estimated at around 1.2 billion baht.
No representatives or family members for the two suspects appeared in court to apply for bail, which led to their confinement in the remand center. For now, the initial detention period will last until July 3, as law enforcement officials prepare to question five more witnesses and obtain forensic reports on physical evidence and fingerprints.
Pongsiri, also known as “Boss Than,” was arrested in the Dok Kham Tai district of Phayao province, while Phassakorn was apprehended in Chiang Mai. Both arrests took place on the same day under a warrant issued by the Criminal Court.
As Pongsiri was taken into custody, he briefly addressed the members of the Lamphun Warriors fanbase, apologizing for the unfolding situation and asking for time to present his account of the events in question. When asked about the fate of the football club, the chairman acknowledged the difficult choices ahead.
Pongsiri rose to prominence when the Lamphun Warriors surged from Thai League 3 to League 1 in just a few years – an impressive feat that drew the attention of several top-tier athletes. Pongsiri acquired the team in 2017, a few years after allegedly operating the gambling website at the center of the charges.
Bolstered by solid evidence in the case against Pongsiri, officials from the Police Cyber Taskforce (PCT) are coordinating with the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) to examine the suspect’s assets and determine whether any illicit activities led to their acquisition. The investigation is expected to expand in scope, exploring potential links between Pongsiri’s close associates/relatives and the alleged criminal activities.
The money trail of the Lamphun Warriors will also be under scrutiny to ensure their rapid rise in the ranks was legitimate and not the result of nefarious financial dealings. The extensive nature of the investigation highlights the lengths authorities are prepared to go to ensure fairness and transparency in the world of sports, and to protect the integrity of the game.