Phuket cops raid gambling den, 4 Russians and Ukrainian arrested

Picture courtesy of Phuket City Police

A gambling den in Ratsada, north of Phuket Town, was raided by the Phuket Provincial Police and Phuket City Police in the early hours of today, resulting in the arrest of four Russian nationals and a Ukrainian. The operation, which was executed following an insider tip-off, occurred at a site on Thepkrasattri Road in Moo 6, Ratsada, in the vicinity of the main SuperCheap branch.

The Ukrainian, identified as Oleksandr Shpetnyi, was found acting as the dealer, while the three Russian nationals, Evgenii Vylegzhanin, Rodion Elonov, and Ruslan Kolontyrskii, were engaged in a game of poker. Another Russian national, Ekaterina Morozova, was observed exchanging betting chips for cash.

During the raid, the police confiscated betting chips worth 647,525 baht. Additional seizures included a professional poker table, three decks of cards, a Samsung computer, an Apple MacBook Air, and a ledger recording bets placed and paid out. The police identified the venue as a regular hotspot for illegal gambling activities.

The police report highlighted the use of chips and cryptocurrencies for placing bets as a strategy to conceal the money involved and prevent it from being seized by the police, reported The Phuket News.

Upon arrest, the five suspects were taken to the Phuket City Police Station. Vylegzhanin, Elonov, and Kolontyrski confessed to the charge of illegal gambling. Shpetnyi and Morozova were charged with organising illegal gambling. However, Morozova refuted the allegations.

In related news, a major illegal gambling den, with daily transactions estimated at 100 million baht (US$2.8 million), was raided by the Department of Provincial Administration in Bang Yai district, Nonthaburi Province. The operation, which took place at 9pm, yesterday, March 19, resulted in approximately 300 gamblers being detained.

The clandestine establishment, disguised as a single-story warehouse in the Bang Mae Nang sub-district, was fortified with three layers of steel doors. Once breached, police discovered numerous gambling rooms with tables for baccarat, dice, and other games. Over 60 CCTV cameras were installed to monitor the activities within.

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