Five men including Klom Bang Kruai, a gambling tycoon from Nonthaburi, have been sentenced to six years in jail for rigging the lottery in Thailand.
The Criminal Court found Somtrakul Jomkrathok, Kittichart Kulpradit, Narong Unpaet alias Klom Bang Kruai, a lottery bookmaker in Nonthaburi, Suriyan Duangkaew, and Pichai Thep-arak, a tycoon from Lop Buri, together with other suspects still at large rigged lottery results of the Government Lottery Office and the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives between Dec 15, 1999, and Nov 10, 2001.
The gang asked dozens of their associates to act as witnesses to lottery draws. At each draw, people in the audience were selected at random to pick numbered balls and members of the gang managed to get chosen. They applied a white liquid substance to certain balls and scooped up the marked balls to rig the results.
In the lottery draw on June 1, 2001, the first-prize winning number was 113311. Somtrakul, Kittichart and Thongsuk Chanakaree (still at large) took the stage to scoop numbered balls and they went after balls with the number 1, which they had marked.
After the draw, Pichai went to Surin to demand his 15-million-baht prize from a local bookmaker identified as Hui. Narong accompanied Pichai on the trip.
One man, who testified as a state witness, said the gang practised their routine at Narong's house in the presence of Suriyan. The men were sentenced to two years in jail for the fraud and four more years for illegal assembly.
The Criminal Court refused to decide on their request for release on bail, saying the Appeals Court would make that decision next week.