Patthapol Uttarat

112Patthapol Uttarat, 52, was arrested by police on or about 12 September 2016 and accused of fraud and lese majeste.

Patthapol joins a long list of persons who are said to have been passing themselves off as somehow related to the monarchy or members of the royal family.

He is also said to have claimed to be a military officer.

It is not clear who the alleged fraudster claimed to be close to in the royal family. Whoever it is, it is yet another case of using the monarchy/royal family name for defrauding others or for enhancing personal wealth and power. Many of the cases over the past year or so have been people claiming real or concocted links to Prince Vajiralongkorn or Princess Sirindhorn.

Crime Suppression Division police arrested Patthapol and alleged that in addition to the royal family link, he claimed to be a lieutenant-colonel attached to the Directorate of Joint Intelligence of the Royal Thai Armed Forces Command.

What seems odd in this case is that it isn’t immediately clear how Patthapol was gaining much from the claims.

It seems he “had asked the [police and military] instructors to train 27 men he would bring to them. He said after completing police commando training the men would be assigned to provide security for ‘highly placed people’.” He’d collected just 600 baht from each of the 27 men.

Patthapol denied the charge. This is a lese majeste case that we’d like to hear much more about. As usual, however, we probably won’t.

Media accounts of Patthapol’s case:

Bangkok Post, 12 September 2016: “Man posing as senior military officer arrested for lese majeste