Two men who claimed to be the real owners of five lottery tickets of Nov 1 draw which won the first prize totaling 30 million baht (about 920,000 USD) will be subjected to lie detector tests, said Pol Maj-Gen Sutthi Puangpikul, chief of Kanchanaburi provincial police on Thursday (Dec 7).
He also said that a team of a police inquiry officers would be set up to investigate the case to clear the air about the true ownership of the prize-winning lottery tickets to ensure fairness to all parties concerned.
The Kanchanaburi police chief said police in charge of the case had already questioned witnesses from the two sides, adding that the next step would involve forensic science probe to examine DNA on the lottery tickets, checking footage of CCTV at the market where the tickets were bought as well as lie detector tests.
Citing that the case has been a subject of great public interest, he assured that police had been handling the case in a straightforward manner without favoritism of any parties in the conflict.
The conflict flared up on Nov 28 when Pol Lt Charoon Wimon, a retired police officer, was invited to Kanchanaburi police station and was informed that Mr Preecha Kraikruan, a schoolteacher of a high school in the province, had lodged a complaint with the police, accusing Mr Charoon of stealing his lottery tickets.
Ever since, Mr Charoon’s bank account in which he had already deposited the 30 million baht prize from the winning lottery tickets has been frozen.
Mr Charoon’s lawyer, Sittra Biabungkerd, who unveiled to the media the lottery ownership conflict, said his client insisted he bought the lottery tickets at the market, but police dismissed his claim, noting that the lottery vendor claimed she sold the lottery tickets to Mr Preecha, the schoolteacher.
The lawyer said he suspected a foul play as Mr Preecha gave conflicting information about the incident. He also questioned why a senior police officer invited his client to the former’s house and persuaded the retired police officer to admit that he stole the lottery tickets.
Pol Maj-Gen Sutthi who was the officer implicated by the lawyer denied any foul play although he admitted that he invited Mr Charoon to his house to mediate the conflict. He also claimed that Mr Charoon agreed to go to his house because it was convenient for him to travel to the house.
The schoolteacher reportedly claimed that he would withdraw the theft charge against Mr Charoon if the latter agreed to return to him half of the prize or 15 million baht, but this was turned down by the retired police officer.
Commenting on the case, Pol Gen Wirachai Songmetta, the deputy national police chief, suggested that the winners of lottery tickets should take pictures of the winning tickets with his cellphone as an evidence to prevent theft or false claims and also to take pictures of the vendors where they bought the tickets.