Thai schoolteacher claims $1.2 million lottery winnings were collected by ex-cop from same district

THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK
Thursday, Dec 07, 2017
Photo: The Nation/Asia News Network

A 50-year-old schoolteacher in Kanchanaburi's Muang district has filed a police complaint claiming that he had bought and lost five tickets that won a total of Bt30 million (S$1.24 million) in the November 1 lottery, alleging that a retired policeman from the same district had withdrawn the money from the Government Lottery Office.

Case investigator Pol Captain Jirayuth Chatcharinkul said police would investigate who was the rightful winner and ensure justice for both sides.

In his complaint filed on Tuesday night, teacher Preecha Kraikruan claimed that a lottery vendor, who had regularly sold him tickets for five years, had the first-prize ticket stubs to back his claim. He added that he was willing to take the issue to court.

Preecha claimed he had bought four sets of lottery tickets, each comprising five tickets with the same number, from the female vendor at a market on October 31 and found upon arriving home that he had lost the five tickets with the number 533726.

When the vendor on November 1 congratulated him for winning the prize, he resumed his search and the vendor confirmed that he had bought the winning tickets after checking her ticket stubs.

Preecha said the Government Lottery Office had advised him to lodge a police complaint, which he did on November 3 and submitted it to the office.

He was then informed on November 28 that someone had already collected the prize money so police summoned him and an unidentified former policeman.

After the two parties failed to reach an agreement, the teacher filed another police complaint on Tuesday against the retired policeman to bring the matter to court.

Earlier this week, lawyer Sittra Biabangkerd from the People Lawyers' Team Foundation posted on Facebook about the case after he was hired to represent the former police officer on December 3, while Bt20 million had been impounded by a police order pending the investigation. The lawyer said it was suspicious that Preecha had deleted a Line message regarding his lottery order to the vendor on October 31, which should have been key evidence to back his claim.

In a separate case, police will announce the results of an investigation next week regarding winning lottery tickets in Buri Ram, Nang Rong precinct superintendent Pol Colonel Sompop Sangkornthong said earlier this week.

In that case, 31-year-old businessman Phansak Suachoomseang filed a complaint on August 20 claiming a teenager had stolen two tickets from him that won the first prize on August 16.

A Roi Et couple collected the prize money saying they had won Bt18 million with three tickets, which the contractor husband reportedly bought from a vendor in Buri Ram's Noen Din Daeng district. The couple said the husband had claimed the winnings from two tickets on August 23 and the wife collected the proceeds from the third ticket on August 24.

Sompop said police had collected DNA and fingerprints from both sides and the accused teenager, which would be compared with traces found on the lottery tickets.

He added that police would investigate further regarding possible criminal intent before deciding whether to file charges.

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