Thursday, May 23, 2024

Major Myanmar Casino Shuts Down After Owner’s Arrest Warrant Amidst Online Gambling Money Laundering Allegations


Myanmar Casino Owned by Local Gambling Kingpin Shuts Down After Authorities Issue Arrest Warrants

A significant hotel and casino, endowed with the exclusive rights to operate on an island at the southern edge of Myanmar, has reportedly ceased operations following the issuance of arrest warrants for its proprietor by authorities in both Myanmar and Thailand.

Reports from the Southeast Asian media outlet The Irrawaddy, indicate that Myanmar national U Kyaw Lwin, who resides in Thailand under the alias Sanga Kangval, has evaded capture after police conducted raids across 27 sites in Thailand, encompassing areas in Bangkok and Ranong.

The managed raids resulted in the detention of seven individuals, accounted to include U Kyaw Lwin’s spouse and an aide. Arrest warrants for an additional eleven people remain outstanding.

The actions undertaken against U Kyaw Lwin stem from allegations of his involvement with the “Kofuk” network. According to The Irrawaddy, this network is implicated in laundering funds generated from online gambling activities, with over US$28 million reportedly circulating within its online gambling framework.

Furthermore, it is purported that the crackdown on U Kyaw Lwin is not solely a domestic affair but is also influenced by international pressures. Both Myanmar and Thai authorities are acting, in part, due to the urging of China as it intensifies its fight against all forms of cybercrime, including online gambling operations.

Following the legal pursuits against U Kyaw Lwin, the Grand Andaman Hotel situated on Thahtay Kyun Island in Kawthaung Township, reputed for its exclusive gaming operations on the 1,800-acre island, has shuttered. Prior to its closure, the hotel boasted a range of amenities, including a casino, spas, karaoke lounges, and beauty salons, and provided employment for approximately 1,500 individuals.

Thahtay Kyun Island, lying directly opposite the Thai mainland, offered an unique proposition through the Grand Andaman Hotel’s website, claiming that it could facilitate access for both Thai and foreign nationals without the necessity of obtaining a Myanmar visa.

In addition to his significant influence in the gaming sector, U Kyaw Lwin is reported to control a near monopoly over the fuel market in Kawthaung Township, with his business activities stretching to the importation of fuel from Thailand. His portfolio also extends to investments in rubber production, prawn breeding, pearl farming, and fishing.

As current understandings suggest, U Kyaw Lwin is believed to be concealing himself within Myanmar, evading the legal consequences of his alleged engagements in illicit online gambling operations and the subsequent international crackdown targeting such activities.

Jordan Clark
Jordan Clark
Jordan Clark brings a dynamic and investigative approach to business reporting. Holding a degree in Business Administration and a certification in Data Analysis, Jordan has an eye for detail and a knack for uncovering the stories behind the numbers. His career began in the bustling world of Silicon Valley startups, giving him firsthand experience in tech entrepreneurship and venture capital. Jordan's reports often focus on technology's impact on business, startup culture, and emerging

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