The Battambang Provincial Court on May 20 charged and placed a man to pre-trial detention in connection with the alleged illegal running of a mobile rain betting operation.
Provincial court spokesman Phan Ratana told The Post that the suspect, Pich Sothea, was arrested by provincial police on the afternoon of May 18, while he was starting the rain betting in Battambang town’s Chamkar Samrong commune’s Chamkar Samrong 2 Village.
“After the investigation, Sothea was put in pre-trail detention by investigating judge Chap Tola on charges for operating mobile rainfall gambling in accordance with the provisions of Article 5 of the law on the suppression of gambling,” Ratana said.
Sothea faces a fine of 5 million to 20 million riel ($1,250 to $5,000) and imprisonment from one to five years.
If the suspect is found to be a repeat offender, he will face the maximum fine and imprisonment.
According to deputy provincial police chief Lim Puthyla, who is in charge of suppression of rainfall gambling, police confiscated evidence including a car, three walkie-talkies, and a handmade tool for catching rain drops.
“Expert police forces have been investigating and monitoring the activities of perpetrators for almost a month,” Puthyla said.
Puthyla said that in general, after the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology announces a rain forecast for the next day or two, rainfall gambling operators would contact gamblers via walkie-talkies to gather in locations far from a village.
Provincial authorities recently warned that legal action would be taken without exception for those who gather to gamble and announced rewards to encourage people who provide information that leads to the arrest and prosecution of owners of gambling dens.