9 royal grifters

112In yet another account of a royal scam that has resulted in lese majeste charges, on 27 January 2017, police arrested eight members of a gang of including a monk and 7 cohorts, while one remained at large.

Led by the Buddhist monk, he would attend weddings, funerals and temple ceremonies in Nakhon Pathom province and other provinces close to Bangkok. As an honored guest, and with his partners – all relatives – pretending to be high-ranking and respected figures they would present him with offerings.

It is unclear if the monk was a monk or was posing as one.

The monk and his gang would then solicit “donations,” which given the royal link, was awkward to refuse. One report stated that they had gained $500,000.

Any sensible person in a modern country might think that these grifters might be charged with fraud and similar crimes. However, in feudal Thailand, because of their claims of royal ties, the gang members were charged with lese majeste and face up to 15 years in prison on each count.

We doubt we will hear more about the case.

Media accounts of the grifters case:

The News, 28 January 2017: “Thai cops bust monk-led ‘gang’

New York Times, 27 January 2017: “Thai Police Nab Fake High-Brow Gang That Scammed Weddings