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Cops free indebted Thai gamblers

Cops free indebted Thai gamblers

A THAI national has been charged with illegal imprisonment by the provincial court in Battambang after three runawayThai gamblers were freed by police from a house in the province, police said.

Battambang district police chief said the three freed Thai nationals had been imprisoned for a month after running up combined gambling debts of about five million baht (US$140,000) playing cards at a Poipet casino.

Deputy prosecutor Koy Kanya said the man in custody was an employee of Poipet's Princess Casino, where the three gamblers had racked up their debts. He said police were looking for four more suspects who were believed to be in hiding.

"I have charged Thai national Sati Sum Sin, 28, with the crime of illegal imprisonment according to Article 7 of the Serious Crimes Law," Kay Kanya said.

Battambang district police Chief Tuch Ra said the three Thai nationals - two women and one man - were freed from a house in the province on Friday. He named the women as Chhim Phong Sarak, 55, and Seto Ano, 37, but did not know the name of the third, a 23-year-old man.

"People living near the house tipped off the police, and we went there and freed them," Tuch Ra told the Post Sunday. "They lost money while gambling at the casino, but couldn't pay. They were being held at the house while their families were given the chance to bring money for their release."

Gambling is illegal in Thailand, leading many Thais to head to the casinos on the Cambodian-Thai border - such as those at Poipet - for entertainment.

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