Police this morning (Wednesday) arrested two executives of an online lottery company, whose premises in Nonthaburi province and northeastern Loei province were raided by police and Government Lottery Office officials (GLO) last month.
Armed with arrest warrants issued by the criminal court, two special task force police units, formed to tackle the problem of overpriced lottery sales, raided premises in Pak Kret district of Nonthaburi province and another in the Bang Khen district of Bangkok.
Police arrested Patchara Messiyaporn, 31, and Panrada Chaiputthithada, 43, who are both executives of online lottery concessionaire Mungkornfa (Blue Dragon). Both were charged with defrauding the public, engaging in the direct sale of lottery tickets without permission, excessive advertising and selling overpriced lottery tickets. They were later released on bail.
Mungkornfa’s lawyer, Ananchai Chaidet, told the media that the company is only an intermediary in facilitating the sale of lottery tickets through its platform, charging a fee of 5 baht for each ticket sold.
Ticket prices are decided between sellers and buyers and have nothing to do with the business, he said.
The lawyer also questioned why the authorities only took legal action against Mungkornfa, while leaving the other online dealers untouched.
After his release on bail, Patchara joined Ananchai at a press conference, saying he was shocked when his premises were raided. He said he denied all charges against him.
March 25e, police and Government Lottery Office (GLO) officials, jointly led by Deputy Prime Minister’s Office Minister Seksakol Atthawong and Pol Lt-Gen Surachate Hakparn, the Deputy Chief of National Police, raided at Mungkornfa’s headquarters in Nonthaburi and found around 1.8 million lottery tickets at its premises. A separate raid of the company’s branch in Loei Province uncovered around 200,000 banknotes.
According to Pol Lt-Gen Surachate, the lottery tickets were purchased from around 4,000 small vendors, who each received a quota of 500 GLO tickets for each 15-day draw.
Two days later, the company announced the suspension of operations, starting April 16e until further notice. He also said he was willing to cooperate with the government and authorities to help solve the problem of overpriced lottery tickets.