Warrants sought in lottery row

A woman holds a chart explaining how she was falsely accused by two women of embezzling winning lottery tickets from them in a complaint lodged with Udon Thani police last year. The woman, who gave her name only as Jaroon, yesterday filed a police complaint against the two for giving false statements to officers at the Crime Suppression Division.

Arrest warrants for offenders in the 30-million-baht lottery fraud case could be issued in the next two days, according to the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB).

CIB’s deputy chief Pol Maj Gen Charn Wimonsri said that the investigation is 70-80% complete. The case involves a teacher in Kanchanaburi, Preecha Kraikruan, who claimed the prize-winning tickets worth 30 million baht, and retired policeman Pol Lt Jaroon Wimol, who was in possession of them before they were seized by authorities investigating the rival claims.

Mr Preecha filed a complaint with local police charging Pol Lt Jaroon for embezzlement in December. Pol Lt Jaroon had already claimed the 30 million baht prize and spent 5 million baht. Pol Lt Jaroon’s bank account has been frozen pending settlement of the dispute.

Pol Maj Gen said the police would summon two new witnesses known as “Phaen” and “Koong” who claim they had seen someone who looked like Pol Lt Jaroon pick up the lottery tickets from the ground. Police said neither are associated with Mr Preech or Ratanaporn Supathip, the vendor from whom the teacher allegedly bought the winning tickets.

Pol Maj Gen said the witnesses who police believed were not linked to the case will be pulled out, adding there are currently 10 witnesses in the case.

Kanchanaburi police earlier said they believed the tickets belonged to Mr Preecha. The case was, however, transferred from local police to the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok. Police said the case might involve fabricated witnesses and perjury. Pol Maj Gen Charn said four police attached to Muang Kanchanaburi station, who were handling the case, would be summoned to give details.

In another development, a 62-year-old woman, who gave her name only as Jaroon, turned up at the CSD yesterday to lodge a complaint against another two women — Raevadee Hakaew and Wilaiporn Ratanatisoy — for filing a false complaint accusing her of embezzling lottery tickets which won first prize valued at 30 million baht in April last year.

Atchariya Ruangratanapong, chairman of the crime victims’ assistance group, who accompanied Ms Jaroon, said the pair lodged the complaint in Udon Thani last year, but officers decided not to charge Ms Jaroon as no such tickets were handed to the Government Lottery Office to claim the money.