BANGKOK, June 13 (Xinhua) -- More than 700 people have been arrested in Bangkok on charges of gambling online on World Cup soccer games, police said on Wednesday.
Deputy National Police Commissioner General Pol. Gen. Chalermkiat Srivorakhan said at a press conference that a total of 763 unidentified people have been arrested by the Metropolitan Police in the Thai capital for allegedly betting on Russia 2018 soccer games, scheduled to begin on Thursday and end in the middle of next month.
Those suspects included 23 alleged touts with a combined sum of 22 million baht (about 700,600 U.S. dollars) in bank accounts and about 140,000 baht (about 4,450 U.S. dollars) in cash at stake.
In addition, 15 teenagers, known in social media as 'net idols', have been summoned and charged by the police for luring their fans into the gambling.
The police nationwide are launching a crackdown on online gambling on the World Cup tournament.
Srivorakhan said more people throughout Thailand might be arrested on similar charges by the end of the soccer tournament.
Male teenagers and adolescents, largely expected to be enthusiastically watching the soccer matches on TV and social media, are feared to be more or less involved in online gambling, he said.