Jailed for palace chilli fraud and the wrong connection

2 02 2015

Sudathip Muangnual was charged with lese majeste on 10 December 2014. She was convicted and sentenced on 2 February 2015 and sentenced to 5 years, reduced to 2.5 for a guilty plea.

Sudathip, the wife of Police Colonel Kowit Muangnual, a former Samut Sakhon Immigration Police chief, who is allegedly part of a criminal network led by former Central Investigation Bureau chief Pongpat Chayapan, Princess Srirasmi’s uncle. Khaosod reports that she was thesister-in-law of Thailand’s Crown Prince.”

Sudathip was first arrested late in November 2014, but not charged with lese majeste and she was released on bail on 24 November 2014.

With “new evidence,” it is reported that police stormed a house and detained Ms Sudathip for questioning. She is accused of citing the monarchy – probably the prince and princess – to help her win a contract to supply food to an unnamed “establishment.” People affected by Sudathip’s alleged misconduct lodged complaints with Sam Sen police station.

A later report revealed that the “establishment” was, in fact, the prince’s household. It was stated that Royal Household Bureau filed the complaint against her, with court documents stating that Sudathip won the contract to supply the prince’s palace kitchen with chili paste that costs 300 baht per kilogram, claimed to be double the average market price and “boiled cabbage that costs 90 baht per kilogram…”. The Royal Household Bureau stated that Sudathip won the contract to supply the palace with food products by using her connections to the royal family to pressure other competitors to drop out of contract bid.

It seems lese majeste can now be used to resolve disputes with suppliers. Yet it is the failed relationship between the prince and his wife that caused the charge to be laid.

The court brief stated:

The remarks of the defendant were slanderous, laying false claims to and insulting the monarchy…. She violated, made false accusations toward, and caused damages to the Royal Majesty.

This is nonsensical stuff, but protecting “majesty”also involves assisting the prince ditch a third wife. Some in the palace will be pleased, but this verdict is just another nail in the majesty coffin.

PPT thinks there may be 10-12 lese majeste cases emanating from the seemingly family-based purge of persons associated with Prince Vajiralongkorn’s estranged and/or divorced third wife and her family, relatives and associated hangers-on.


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19 10 2015
More household cleansing | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Late last year and early this year, there were a spate of case under this broad heading, all of which had to do with expelling Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn’s then wife’s family from the palace and relationships with the prince’s household (amongst all the posts at the time, see here, here, here, here, there, here and also here). […]

19 10 2015
More household cleansing | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Late last year and early this year, there were a spate of case under this broad heading, all of which had to do with expelling Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn’s then wife’s family from the palace and relationships with the prince’s household (amongst all the posts at the time, see here, here, here, here, there, here and also here). […]