Police yesterday raided the offices of a major online lottery in Nonthaburi and Loei in an effort to deal with persistently high state lottery prices.
As part of this operation, two million bin operator Blue Dragon Lottery at its headquarters in Nonthaburi and its Loei branch in northeastern Thailand was seized with state-issued lottery tickets due to overpricing.
Foreign Minister Sexakol Atthawong, who was involved in the Nonthaburi raid, said 1.8 million lottery tickets were found in a safe at the office.
Sexakol leads the working group set up by the Prime Minister to tackle the problem of excessive lottery winnings. He added that the search found another 200,000 lots in Loei. He told the press that an initial investigation revealed that the company, with assets of more than 100 million baht, was not entitled to lottery quotas, but had collected large quantities of tickets from existing quota holders and small sellers.
“We will thoroughly investigate this company to determine whether there has been a crime, such as money laundering or illegal gambling,” he announced.
The pl. National Police Chief Lieutenant General Surachate Hakparn aka “Big Joke” who led yesterday’s raid on Nonthaburi said the company sold lottery tickets for 90-105 baht each, well above the legal price of 80 baht per lot. He said the raid was to gather evidence as part of a police investigation into legal action against the company. Police will determine whether the company actually owns the lottery tickets sold online, otherwise, they will be charged with public deception, Big Joke said.
If it turns out that the company is not an authorized distributor of lottery tickets, it will also be charged with illegal gambling, Big Joke added.
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