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Betting Assets Across Thai Border to be Seized

25 August 2003

THAILAND – As reported by the Bangkok Post: "The Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) is preparing to pounce on the assets of scores of people who continue to run underground lotteries and gambling dens in Thailand and in neighbouring countries.

"Pol Col Peeraphan Premphuti, the secretary-general, said the two offences were not specifically mentioned in the anti-money laundering law. But Amlo could order the seizure of illegally acquired assets because it also involved bribery of officials and malfeasance in office.

"On Saturday Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said Thai casino owners in neighbouring countries were also running an underground lottery.

"…He ordered urgent measures to deal with the problem.

"Pol Col Peeraphan said a three-week investigation by police and Amlo found that scores of underground lottery and gambling den operators, both inside and outside the country, had bribed state officials and police to stay away from their illegal activities.

"…Pol Col Peeraphan said the assets of underground lottery and gambling den operators living outside the country could be seized, no matter whether the offenders were Thai citizens or foreign nationals. The law empowered Amlo to deal with their assets if the offences affected Thailand.

"…Many people running illegal lottery operations in Cambodia were Thais who fled there to escape police…"

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