Police officers elevated their pursuit of the online Thai lottery ticket platform Kong Salak Plus yesterday after raiding its head office as part of an investigation into alleged price gouging.
As reported by the Bangkok Post, officers visited the Lottery Online Co head office – located on Sukhumvit Soi 63 in Bangkok’s Watthana district – on Monday, Jan 16.
This latest development follows last week’s arrest of CEO Panthawat Nakwisut, who was charged for allegedly inflating the price of Thai lottery tickets and violating the law on direct sales.
Panthawat admitted reselling government lottery tickets at an inflated price but denied a charge of violating the direct selling law.
The Kong Salak Plus headquarters was raided in March last year over price gouging allegations, and this latest one was prompted by a complaint from the Government Lottery Office (GLO) after an investigation by the Anti Money Laundering Office (ALMO) found funds which Kong Salak Plus claimed came from “website support fees”, which it charges for each ticket sold.
However, according to GLO Director Lt Col Noon Sansanakhom, the platform had not been granted rights to sell lottery tickets on behalf of the GLO.
Subsequently, the Consumer Protection Police Division (CPPD) was asked to investigate eight lottery platforms suspected to be selling tickets above the permitted price of 80 baht ($2.41), with many of them also accused of failing to restrict sales of tickets to underaged persons.
Panthawat denies all allegations levelled against his firm, and he argues that other platforms have been buying up lottery tickets from vendors and reselling them for over 10 years without the GLO taking any action.
He said many other platforms had for years been following the practice of adding a service charge to the 80 baht face value of each ticket.