“Corruption” lese majeste cases mount

23 09 2016

About 10 days ago, PPT posted on yet another case of using the monarchy/royal family name for defrauding others or for enhancing personal wealth and power. Police had arrested Patthapol Uttarat, alleged to have claimed he was a lieutenant-colonel attached to the Directorate of Joint Intelligence of the Royal Thai Armed Forces Command and had links to “someone” much “higher.”

His lese majeste case is one of many such cases over the past year or so that have seen people accused of real or concocted links to Prince Vajiralongkorn or Princess Sirindhorn.

Khaosod reports on two more cases.It is unclear if these cases are related to that of Patthapol, although the modus operandi seems similar. They were in different provinces and arrests were made by different sets of authorities.

Kraisri Chantarapanya, 47, and Pitsanu Amwongsa, 65, were arrested on 18 September 2016 and accused of “scamming recruits into a fake royal guard were being held on an army base Tuesday in Nakhon Si Thammarat province…”.

An army report stated that “Kraisri claimed to be of royal bloodline, while Pitsanu recruited men to serve as ‘royal bodyguards’.”

They were said to take 2,500 baht per applicant for the allegedly bogus royal guard positions.

Khaosod states that their searches online for Kraisri’s name “turned up many news articles over a period of several years detailing his visits to mosques and local government offices in the south.”

It states that “[i]n those stories, he was identified as a royal secretary for a distant relative of His Majesty the King, a woman holding the title mom chao named Praphaphan Kornkosiyakart.”

They are likely to be charged with lese majeste, although we may never hear any more about their cases.