The national police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda told a press conference this afternoon (Feb 28) the police were not duty-bound to decide who is the real owner of the 30-million baht lottery tickets, but the Civil Court will make the judgement.
Against the expectation that the police chief will come up with the long-awaited answer about the real owner of the five First Prize tickets of November 1 draw, he read from the Supreme Court's verdict No 2578/2530 which, in summation, ruled that lottery tickets are not registered property and anyone who possesses a lottery tickets is the owner and there is no need to sign in order to purchase a lottery ticket.
Anyone who claimed he or she has lost a winning lottery ticket and who has lodged a complaint of the loss after the announcement of the lottery result is held in suspicion that he/she is the real owner of the lost ticket and the person who actually has the ticket in possession should have the better right of ownership, according to the court's verdict.
Asked whether retired police officer Charoon Wimoon is the rightful owner of the 30-million baht lottery tickets in accordance with the Supreme Court's verdict, the police chief merely said he merely read the verdict and he was not involved with the case.
He made clear that he could not interfere with the court's affairs.
Pol Gen Chakthip reiterated that he ordered the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) police to take over the case from Provincial Police Region 7 in Kanchanaburi because the case was complicated and Pol Lt Charoon had filed complaint with the CSD police that he was unfairly treated by the local police.
He explained that the CSD took over only criminal cases that both parties filed against each other. Mr Preecha accused Pol Lt Charoon of embezzlement and receiving stolen property, while Pol Lt Charoon accused Mr Preecha of making false claim to the police.
As for the question of who is the real owner of the five prize-winning lottery tickets, both parties need to ask the civil court to rule on this matter, Pol Gen Chakthip said.
He added there were five lottery-related cases similar to the 30-million-baht lottery scam under police investigation and he hoped the Preecha-Charoon case should be the last one.
The police chief warned Police chief warned those who plan to make a false ownership claim of lottery tickets to take lessons from this case.
Central Investigationo Bureau chief Thitirat Nongharnpitak said Pol Lt Charoon had little evidence to back up his lottery tickets ownership claim, but Mr Preecha's testimony conflicts with forensic evidence.
School teacher Preecha Kraikruan was booked by CSD police at Thepmongkonrangsi school in Kanchanaburi and escorted to the CSD headquarter in Bangkok for detention. He is facing three charges, including giving false statement to the authorities and intentionally causing others to receive punishment or receiving harsher punishment.
Lottery ticket vendor Rattanaporn Suphathip, alias Jeh Babin, who claimed she sold the five first-prize winning lottery tickets to Mr Preecha, was also arrested from her house in Kanchanaburi and brought to Bangkok.
Police could detain both suspects for 48 hours, or until Friday (March 2) when police have to seek court approval for further detention.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)