A raid on a Chinese-owned hotel in the Mae Sot district of Tak province has led to the arrest of more than 200 people.
Approximately 50 officers from a combined force of the Provincial Police Region 6 and several local police stations entered the F4 hotel on Intharakhiri Road on Wednesday evening.
The hotel was under suspicion of having been purchased cheaply by Chinese gangsters to use as a den for illegal online gambling operations.
Officials have been investigating Chinese gambling operations in Mae Sot, with the hotel’s raid part of the ongoing investigation.
A total of 224 people were found in the hotel – 140 men and 84 women – each of whom was discovered in rooms that had been equipped with computers and other equipment associated with online gambling.
All of those present at the hotel were arrested with Thai, Myanmar, and Chinese nationals in the group. More than 100 computers and other pieces of equipment were also seized and taken to Mae Sot police station.
One of the officials stated that Chinese illegal gambling houses had targeted Mae Sot due to a crackdown on such activity at Mayawaddy town in Myanmar, just across the border.
Some Chinese nationals had rented houses and turned them into gambling dens. Meanwhile, others had bought hotels that were sold far below market value due to the covid-19 pandemic.
Those arrested were charged with operating online gambling, persuading and colluding in advertising and people betting and gathering in a way that could risk the spread of the coronavirus.
They were charged with violations of Sections 4 and 12 of the Gambling Act and the emergency decree.
In addition to the computers, 240 bank books were seized, as were several mobile phones and internet routers.
Source: Bangkok Post