|Thailand's police plan to monitor mobile phone and internet traffic for evidence of illegal gambling during the 2002 world cup.|
Thailand's national police chief Gen. Sant Sarutanonda said Thursday he had 'urged' the state-run Telephone Organization of Thailand to cooperate with authorities by checking telephone numbers that were active during World Cup matches.
Police also are looking into the Internet sites of known bookmakers.
Sant has promised to crack down on underground betting during the May 31-June 30 tournament, which is being held in South Korea and Japan.
A recent study by Assumption University suggested $204 million would be spent on gambling in Thailand during the World Cup. The study also suggested that $142 million (9 billion bath) would be illegally gambled during the tournament starting on May 31.
Gambling is illegal in Thailand, with the exception of a state-sponsored lottery.
Sant earlier proposed delaying broadcasts of World Cup matches, but the idea was opposed by broadcasters and the public. It was hoped screening games after they have taken place would dampen gambler's enthusiasm for betting on games.