Five Russians have been arrested and charged with illegal gambling in Phuket in a raid on an illegal gambling establishment.

Phuket police have identified a suspected illegal gambling venue in Rawai and raided a suspicious villa. Five Russians – four men and one woman – were arrested in the raid, Khaosod Online reported.

While investigating an illegal gambling case, Phuket police officers went to a luxury villa on Soi Salik and, after obtaining a warrant, raided the suspected location where illegal gambling was being organised. This resulted in the arrest of five suspects.

All five arrested are Russian citizens: 36-year-old Alexander Shelgunov, 39-year-old Vasily Piskunov, 38-year-old Pavel Mishanov, 23-year-old Evgeny Vylegzhanin and 36-year-old Ksenia Savranchuk.

As physical evidence, the police seized a large gambling table, two decks of playing cards and betting chips worth the equivalent of 356’300 baht, which were used when the police entered the premises.

Two books for recording income and expenditure, two stopwatches, a spare gambling table and 508 spare betting chips worth 1619739 baht were seized. Police officers seized the hard drive of the house’s CCTV system, as well as a number of illegally smuggled hookahs.

One of the five arrested Russians has been charged with smuggling hookahs, while the others have been charged with illegal gambling, Phuket police said, without specifying who was charged with what. All five Russian nationals were taken to Chalong police station for “further investigation,” police said.

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