Friday, February 5, 2016

Retirees Dealt A Bad Hand By Thai Police

A group of elderly bridge players in the Thailand resort town of Pattaya were surprised by a visit from the police this week.   Over 50 officers from the Thai Army and local police stormed a regularly scheduled bridge game, arresting 32 foreign retirees-- including an 84-year-old Dutch woman.  The group, which has been conducting weekly bridge games for over twenty years, said they were not playing for money-- but were jailed for possessing too many unregistered playing cards. 

Thailand's military rulers have vowed to crack down on corruption and crime.  Police said they raided the bridge club after its anti-corruption center received a tip-off.  Thailand has strict anti-gambling laws, with nearly all forms of gambling prohibited. The members had broken a 1935 law, the Playing Cards Act, which prohibits individuals from possessing more than 120 playing cards.  A group of 32 bridge players, by necessity, would need to utilize eight decks-- for a total of 416 cards.  The players were released on bail for $160 each after 12 hours in custody.

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