Hyderabad: Well known socialite and casino organiser Chikkoti Praveen, who was held in Thailand during a raid on an alleged illegal casino at a hotel in Chon Buri province of the country, said that he was ‘misinformed’ about the event.
“The organizers told me that it was a Poker tournament and international players were participating in the event. Within 15 minutes after we stepped inside the premises, the police raided the place,” Chikkoti Praveen told news reporters in Thailand where he was produced before the court along with other persons held in the case.
The Thailand police had caught 93 people – 83 Indians, six Thais and four Myanmar nationals. They seized four baccarat tables, three blackjack tables, 25 sets of cards, 209,215,000 chips, 160,000 Indian rupees, eight closed-circuit television cameras, 92 mobile phones, three notebook computers, one iPad and three card dealer machines during the raid. A logbook in which gambling credits were recorded, showing about ‘1,000 million rupee’ worth of credits in circulation, wewas also seized.
Several from Hyderabad held for illegal gambling in Thailand
Some of the accused claimed that they were told by the organizers of the trip that gambling is legal in Thailand. “I know casinos are illegal in Thailand. In the invite extended to us, we were told it is poker tournament. Fee for participating in the event was paid by us for the event. The court let me off with a fine,” said Chikkoti Praveen.
The local media reported that more than 500 million Rupees, or about 200 million Baht, was gambled each day and the activities were ‘live streamed’ to India. “A Thai organizer of the gambling trip, “Sitranan”, reportedly admitted that she rented the hotel’s conference hall at a rate of 120,000 baht a day, as she insisted that the hotel has nothing to do with the gambling activities,” a report on ‘www.thaipbsworld.com’ stated.
Parveen, is a well-known figure in the elite circles in India. He is known for organising casinos in different countries including Nepal, Thailand and Malaysia. The Enforcement Directorate registered a case against him and investigating for money laundering.