A while ago PPT created a page for the Ying Kai lese majeste case. It seems we need to create another three pages for new cases being brought against Monta or Montra “Ying Kai” Yokrattanakan’s elder sister, an official – nor “former” official – of the Royal Household Bureau, and another man, still to be arrested.
The Bangkok Post reports that both Ying Kai’s sister Kamonthat “Kim-eng” Sae Thanathornkhositjira and former Royal Household Bureau employee Taworn Puangpratoom are both accused of being members of an “alleged … criminal plot,” fraud and lese majeste.
Kamonthat, aged 62, was detained a few days ago. She was accused of “fraud and falsifying documents, with alleged links to lese majeste offences.” Police raided “a condominium building on Lat Phrao Soi 60 in Bangkok where they searched three luxurious units for further evidence related to lese majeste offences.”
She stands “accused of invoking the royal institution in a fund-raising scam that swindled more than 3 million baht from victims.” The search reportedly “found many valuable items including antique porcelain, ivory tusks, swords, statues and amulets. Documents and some valuable items bearing royal emblems were also found.”
The police are “examining the royal emblems to determine if the items are fake. If evidence is found that she had cited the royal institution as alleged, police would press additional charges of breaching Section 112 of the Criminal Code…”.
The second person being investigated is Taworn, aged 66, who was “detained” on 29 August 2016, at his home in Huay Kwang. Taworn was charged “as an accomplice of Ms Kamonthat.” He faces “allegations of fraud and falsifying documents in a scheme involving lese majeste offences.”
The arrest of Taworn is “seen as a significant breakthrough in the case.” What is significant is that he “worked at the [Royal Household B]ureau’s Royal Chamberlains Division (Chitralada Palace)…”.
The Criminal Court also approved a police request to arrest “another man, identified as Somsak Siriyakom, who is still at large. Mr Somsak faces the same charges as Mr Taworn.” We do not know if he was also employed in the royal household.
Several people “have lodged official complaints with police that they were conned by the alleged Kim-eng scheme. They include an army major-general and a colonel.” The “scheme” seems to have involved taking donations after a television program where Kamonthat lauded the monarchy.
The police claim “Kamonthat’s network” was larger than the three who have been named so far.
This case, along with several others, suggests massive corruption has riddled the royal household, probably for many years.
Update: Khaosod reports a somewhat ambiguous police claim: that Taworn “dressed himself to look similar to an official from the royal palace to fool victims into believing that Mrs. Kim Eng was someone close to people in the high circle…”. He did work for the Royal Household Bureau.