Former Rayong casino operator ‘Longjoo’ charged with murder
A Thai man allegedly running illegal casino operations is now facing charges on four counts, including murder.
The Crime Suppression Division has called for charges to be filed against Somchai Jutikitdecha, the 56-year-old suspect named as Longjoo Somchai.
The CSD first arrested Longjoo in February 2020, accusing him of being involved in illegal casinos. These locations played a major role in spreading Covid-19 outbreaks in the eastern region as gamblers contracted the Covid19 virus in the illegal gambling halls and it spread from there.
In recent months, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues, police have increasingly picked up illegal gambling activities, although the majority is online.
After that arrest, Longjoo is also said to have broken other laws and the CSD is now pushing for prosecution on three other counts, including murder. They accuse him of violating the emergency decree banning all public gatherings. He is also accused of money laundering.
The most serious charge, however, is now new evidence he allegedly ordered against a 47-year-old motorcycle taxi driver. The taxi driver was shot in Pattaya on July 28 last year, and police now suspect Longjoo had him killed in retaliation.
The CSD claims that Longjoo believed it was a tip from this motorcycle taxi driver that led the police to raid and shut down his casinos. This alleged retaliation led to the most serious murder charge against the casino operator.
Investigators in the case are confident they have gathered enough corroborating evidence to build a very strong case against Longjoo, and as such, the Crime Suppression Division has recommended that he indict him on all four charges of illegal gambling, violating the state of emergency decree, conspiracy for money laundering and now murder.
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