General Udomdej Sitabutr is almost finished. Not only is he caught in the Rajabhakti Park corruption scandal, but his associates have again been linked to the very odd and very dangerous “lese majeste” cases associated with the now deceased Suriyan Sujaritpalawong and his supposed “network.” This network was also close to Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn.
A report at the Bangkok Post says that “[s]everal army and police officers linked to a high-profile lese majeste case have fled overseas…”. This is in addition to Col Khachachart Boondee, who has already fled several weeks ago. The report states:
They include Maj Gen Suchart Prommai, former 11th Infantry Regiment commander now stripped of military rank; Pol Col Pairoj Rojanakhajorn, a former chief of the Crime Suppression Division’s (CSD) Sub-Division 2; and his then deputy Pol Lt Col Thammawat Hiranyalekha….
They managed to slip out of the country but it has not been confirmed where they are hiding….
Yet again, the claim is that these military and police officers “allegedly cited the monarchy to solicit money from business operators to fund the production of shirts and pins to mark the Bike for Mom event held on Aug 16.”
It is said that “police are confident the suspects will be brought to justice…”. There’s no chance of that, and the longer Udomdej lingers, the more he is at risk, not least because “[i]nvestigators are gathering evidence to seek arrest warrants for others involved…”.
It is said that there is another “suspect, Pol Lt Col Thanabat Prasertwit, deputy chief of the Anti-Human Trafficking Division’s Sub-division 1,” and his whereabouts is not known.
If nothing is heard of those who are now missing, it may be that the military has them or that they have been murdered.
This dragnet is so broad that it is unclear if lese majeste is now being used to cleanse the police and military of “unreliable” officers or whether this is a further undermining of the prince or even something he ordered in a fit of anger. Simply put, this is a Thailand that is opaque and dangerous.