Thai police arrested at least 32 foreigners in a raid on bridge club as part of foreign gang crackdown in resort town of Pattaya.
The raid was conducted at an apartment in South Pattaya on Wednesday night. The rented room was being used by a Bridge Club for foreign nationals. The alleged card club believed to be ran by a British national in a room above the Alto’s Restaurant off the Thapraya Road in Pattaya, a town famous for night-life and high crime rate.
The security forces stormed the premises after a tip-off from an informant of a regular gathering of foreingers. Thai police and military volunteers arrested 32 foreign nationals, most of them British. They found 8 tables packed with 32 foreigners, who were playing the popular card game Bridge.
Police could not find a proof of money involved while playing the card game. Despite of no cash, the players were detained including the alleged organizer of the event. The foreigners, including 26 men and six women, were taken into custody as they had committed an offence of possessing more than 120 playing cards.
The section 8 of the Playing Cards Act of 1935 states that an individual is not allowed to possess more than 120 playing cards at any time. All forms of gambling, apart from lottery, are outlawed in the Kingdom, though underground betting is flourishing in the country.
Moreover, desktop computers, decks of cards and a book with results of the games were seized by officers. Those arrested included 12 Brits, three Norwegians, three Swedes, two Australians, a German, a Dane, a Canadian, a New Zealander and a Dutch national. The other nationalities were not made public.
After 12 hours in custody, all the members of the Bridge Club except one were freed on bail, 5,000 baht each. One woman refused to sign a document stating she was caught gambling. Thus, she remained in prison.
The Jomtien and Pattaya Bridge Club meets three times a week and is a popular pastime for foreigners living in Pattaya. According to media reports, the club had been operating bridge nights since 1994. IMAGE/BangkokPost