Thailand government announces sub-committees to combat illegal gambling

By Peter Lynch

The Thailand government has set up three sub-committees to tackle illegal gambling dens, one of the main causes of the spread of COVID-19 in the country, according to officials.

The first sub-committee will be headed by Pol Lt Gen Sarawut Kanphanit, a police inspector-general, and will aim to pinpoint areas where illegal gambling dens are operating and identify those responsible.

It will also examine how police, local administrative organisations and provincial governors deal with illegal gambling under various jurisdictions.

Phusit Somchit, an Interior Ministry inspector, will head the second sub-committee, which is responsible for proposing long-term measures for those involved in illegal gambling. 

The third sub-committee meanwhile will be headed by Pol Col Akkharaphon Bunyopatsatam, deputy director-general of the Department of Special Investigation. It will investigate the money trail of gambling dens.

All three sub-committees will present their findings to the main committee, which will file a report for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. The report will then be passed to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration to assist in decision making around containment efforts.

The announcement comes as the Thailand government aims to curb the spread of COVID-19, with gambling dens identified as one of the main causes of this spread primarily due to the large number of people gathering in a small, unregulated spaces.


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