Banglamung District arrests 11 in casino raid that costs Pattaya police chief his job

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Banglamung District officials raided three underground casinos, arresting 11, seizing cash and slot machines, and creating a controversy that would cost Pattaya’s police chief his job.

Four alleged gamblers were captured May 2 in a commercial building on Soi 17 near Thepprasit Road with five slot machines. The 108 Shop on Third Road was also hit, as well as another building in the area.

In total, 17 slot machines, 75,000 baht and other gambling equipment was confiscated.

Among those arrested were Suriwong Hansuck, 33, Tanongsak Lapho, 21, and Supachai Meepo, 42.

Police bring out the 11 suspects rounded up during the May 2 multiple casino raid.Police bring out the 11 suspects rounded up during the May 2 multiple casino raid.

Authorities reportedly had been aware of the machines for some time, but the district office decided to mount the raid themselves after the Pattaya Police failed to move. But as soon as word of the arrests broke, district officials scrambled to save face for the police chief, who was en route to Chiang Mai at the time, belatedly telling reporters that the police force, in fact, was involved in the operation.

Banglamung District Chief Sakchai Taengho took pains to stress that the district office and Pattaya Police Station had a good working relationship and that police officers had collaborated on the arrests.

However, Sakchai’s attempt to cover for Pattaya Police Superintendent Suwan Cheaonawinthawat didn’t sway his Royal Thai Police superiors, who quickly removed him from office.