Thailand Arrests Hundreds, Seizes Millions in Euro 2024 Bet Bust

Euro 2024

Thai authorities have arrested 64 suspects and seized over 280 million baht (US$7.6 million) in an ongoing crackdown on illegal online betting linked to Euro 2024 football (soccer), according to government officials on Friday.

The extensive operation targeted two websites, wm88 and x-stand, among other ventures, as reported by the Thai news outlet

Government estimates indicate that these sports betting websites generated 1.4 billion baht (US $38.1 million) in revenue between January and June.

During a raid at a residence in Bangkok’s Thong Lor area, police confiscated 13,830,000 baht (US $376,460) and US $3,200 in cash.

Luxury vehicles, including a Bentley, a Mercedes-Benz, and a GWM Tank SUV, were also seized, along with multiple properties. The total value of these assets was estimated at 22,580,000 baht (US $614,672).

Chinese nationals Xiang Zhang, 42, and Zhang Huiqing, 37, were arrested and claimed their funds were from selling a Chinese advertising firm and investing in cryptocurrency, not from gambling.

Another raid at a condo in Bangkok’s Phrom Phong neighborhood resulted in the seizure of assets totaling 287,396,713 baht (US $7,823,513).

Following this raid, Jun Xia, 36, a Chinese national, and four Thai nationals were charged with illegal electronic gambling and money laundering.

Recent arrests also include 248 suspects between June 14 and Thursday, with 28 individuals organizing illegal online activities and 220 participating in gambling. Authorities shut down 62 illegal sports betting websites.

Additionally, illegal gambling activities at various physical gaming dens led to the apprehension of 1,578 individuals, including 1,503 players, 65 bookies, and 10 runners.

Officials emphasized that gambling is illegal and those arrested will be prosecuted, with potential penalties including up to two years in prison and fines. Additional penalties may apply if minors were involved in the gambling activities.

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