Ex-pro footballer arrested on Thai lottery charges

Ex-pro footballer arrested on Thai lottery charges
Image: Shutterstock

Former Chinese footballer Xiang Lix has been arrested on two charges relating to the distribution of Thai lottery tickets, according to The Thaiger.

The Thai news publication has reported that the 33-year-old was arrested by Nong Khai Immigration Police for “being an alien working without permission (hawking government lottery tickets)” and “selling government lottery tickets at a higher price than specified by law”.

A third charge of “being an alien in the kingdom without permission” was also levelled against Lix.

His journey in Thailand began on January 29, 2015, when he arrived on a three-month, Non-B type visa. He played professional football for Khon Kaen FC in Thai League 3 and went on to play for Loei City FC in the same league.

According to Lix, he was not paid his wages for many months, leading him to turn to illegally selling lottery tickets in order to provide for his family.

After detaining Lix, who had overstayed his visa by more than seven years (2,782 days), Nong Khai Immigration Police confirmed that he will be prosecuted according to the law.

Illegally selling and overpricing lottery tickets has been a constant thorn in the sides of Thai lottery officials over recent years.

Three people were arrested in July over allegations that they had been selling digital lottery tickets at inflated prices, and there have been numerous police investigations into the lottery industry as a whole.

Earlier this year, the Government Lottery Office (GLO) even launched a new online lottery in a bid to combat the epidemic of overpriced tickets in Thailand, but problems have continued to persist.