104 arrested in Thailand over online football gambling

Police in Thailand have arrested 104 individuals for suspicion of running several online football gambling websites. 

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According to figures released by the Government and reported locally, the operation resulted in over 1 billion baht, which works out to approximately $31m.   

In a news briefing the Digital, Economy and Society Minister, Chaiwut Thanakhamanusorn, said the Ministry had joined forces with the National Police to attack the problem of illegal gambling in Thailand.  

As well as the 104 arrested, the police were also able to arrest a further 255 suspects for promoting gambling online, with assets worth 77 million baht being seized as a result of the arrests.  

The police and the Ministry have charged 28 suspects for sharing fake news and, according to Minister Thanakhamanusorn, they are preparing to charge an additional 38.  

The Minister says most suspects were unaware of the inaccuracies in the stories they shared on social media.  

However, since they had endorsed the content with comments, they can be charged with a defamation case. According to the Computer Crime Act, they could face a potential five years in jail or a fine worth 100,000 baht. 

Meanwhile, the Emergency Decree says those who share fake news related to the Covid-19 outbreak can be sentenced to two years in prison or a 40,000 baht fine.  

The Minister added that officers are now investigating potential leads, with 167 more websites being suspected of promoting online gambling.

The police are trying to obtain court orders to block or delete these websites from the internet.  

Minister Thanakhamanusorn has urged locals in Thailand to double check what they post on social media, so they don’t fall victim to fake news and face potential jail time.  

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