Thai Authorities Seize $7.6M in Crackdown on Euro 2024 Cyber Gambling

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In a striking demonstration of law and order, Thai officials ensnared 64 individuals and confiscated in excess of 280 million baht (equivalent to U.S. $7.6 million) in an ongoing crusade against illegal cyber wagering on the Euro 2024 football championship. This news was unveiled by the government last Friday.

At the forefront of this extensive operation were two notorious websites identified as wm88 and x-stand. These sites among others had their grips on an enormous stream of revenue, raking in an astonishing 1.4 billion baht (US $38.1 million) in the period between January through June of this year based on government assessments.

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The investigation led the officers to the opulent neighborhood of Thong Lor in Bangkok. Here, in one particular residence, the police unearthed caches of money totaling 13,830,000 baht (US $376,460), supplemented with an additional $3,200 in US currency.

The haul didn’t stop there; in a display of unmistakable wealth, the authorities impounded luxury vehicles that included a Bentley, a Mercedes-Benz, and a GWM Tank SUV. Several properties were also taken into custody with the cumulative value of the assets rounding off at 22,580,000 baht (US $614,672), as disclosed by the officials.

The authorities managed to capture Xiang Zhang, 42, and Zhang Huiqing, 37, both Chinese nationals, in the process. The couple wove a story stating that the source of their vast reserves wasn’t gambling but the capital gained from selling a Chinese advertising company plus investments in cryptocurrency.

The operations further extended to a condominium in a Bangkok neighborhood known as Phrom Phong. The assets seized in this raid tipped the scales at an astounding 287,396,713 baht (US $7,823,513).

Moving forward, law enforcement made charges against Jun Xia, also a Chinese national, and four local Thai suspects, all engendered by the bust in Phrom Phong.

The charges primarily levied against these pivotal suspects are illicit electronic gambling and money laundering. Authorities have also hinted at the possibility of more arrests in the near future.

The most recent round of apprehension follows a pattern of earlier arrests that were made from June 14 to the preceding Thursday. Out of the legion of 248 suspects apprehended, 28 were identified as orchestrators of the illegal cyber activities while the remaining 220 were caught in the act of gambling. A total of 62 illegal sports betting websites were effectively dismantled.

Overall, the staggering sum wagered on these platforms reached a mind-boggling 1,400,150,007 baht (US $38 million).

Moreover, illegal gambling was unearthed in various clandestine gaming establishments, leading to the arrest of an additional 1,578 suspects. Out of these, 1,503 were active players, with 65 bookies and 10 runners adding to the count.

The investigation into the sports betting cases were professionally helmed by the locales’ Technology Crime Suppression Division in conjunction with the Technology Crime Investigation Bureau.