Thailand: Messaging services and forensics against illegal gambling

Thailand: Messaging services and forensics against illegal gambling

As CTN recently reported [article in English], around 160 illegal gaming machines were seized again after a raid in Pattaya, Thailand. The police are now resorting to forensic help in their investigations: fingerprints and DNA traces should lead to the arrest of the perpetrators.

Thailand is using forensics to fight illegal gambling. (Source:

On January 21st, the police again dug an illegal casino in a business building in Nongprue. There are no arrests, let alone suspects. The find is around 161 slot machines that are believed to have been smuggled into Thailand. Apparently they have already been used – and were therefore ready to play. An illegal casino was planned.

Messaging services against illegal gambling

In the specific case, the police resort to new investigation methods that are supposed to lead to the arrest of the perpetrators: With the help of messaging services, which can send anonymous information to the police, gambling should be stopped. A tip on exactly one of these services led the police on the trail of the new “underground casino”.

Thai translator Hazel Rawang, who translated the original police report from Thai to English, stated:

There has been a notable surge in gambling-related arrests recently, and that coincides with concerns of local communities about the risk of many people gathering together.

She believes that the number of gambling in Thailand could increase due to popular fear of the spread of the coronavirus.

In addition, the investigators resorted to the expertise of forensic scientists who were supposed to locate the owners of the machines with the help of fingerprints and DNA traces. Forensic investigators take fingerprints on the seized machines as well as hair and DNA samples from mattresses, clothing, a scooter and devices that are still in the building.

Illegal gambling is nothing really new in Thailand

It is not entirely new or surprising in Thailand that illegal gambling venues are found and dug up: In the week before last, several illegal gamblers were arrested in Pattaya.

Thailand not only stands for breathtaking beaches, impressive temples, tasty food and a wide variety of islands, but also for a gambling culture that is second to none. Even though gambling is prohibited in Thailand.

The last few weeks have repeatedly brought illegal venues to light. In an unregistered warehouse in Khon Kaen, slot machines worth around 17 million baht (approx. 467,370 euros) are said to have been located – all of them functional and well covered.

The local police spokesman who took part in the raid, Pol Maj. Gen Yingyos Thepchamnong, told the media that the machines had been delivered on five trucks. They did not drive up all at once, but gradually arrived at the warehouse so as not to arouse suspicion. Some of the truck drivers who were involved in the action are said to have later turned themselves in to the police.