Divorce destruction continues

22 03 2015

Reuters reports that a military court has “jailed three brothers of a former princess for 5-1/2 years, in the latest court decision giving prison time to family members after her dramatic fall from grace last year.”

We understand the confusion on these cases as they are piled very high. In fact, Nuttapong (as we have named him based on previous reports, but now listed as Natthapol) and Narong Suwadee are brothers and Sitthisak Suwadee is a nephew of Srirasmi.

The report claims that “Srirasmi Suwadee, formerly known as Princess Srirasmi, is divorced from Crown Prince … Vajiralongkorn, and relinquished her royal title last December.”

As far as we are aware, no divorce has been announced. Rather, acts of personal and family destruction have been underway.

Reuters notes that the three were given 11 years in prison each, reduced to 5.5 years because they confessed to the “crimes of theft, insult to the monarchy and illegal detention…”. It is not immediately clear what their sentence was on the lese majeste charges, but it matters little to the outcome.

Khaosod reports that the prosecutor alleged that Natthapol, Narong and Sitthisak “were hired by a businessman named Nopporn Supphapipat [Suppipat] to coerce a money lender into reducing Nopporn’s debt from 120 million baht to 20 million baht.” It was further alleged that “the three men abducted Nopporn’s money lender, Witthaya Panyathaweekool, in front of his house in Bangkok on 20 March 2014. The trio allegedly detained him overnight and forced him to reduce Nopporn’s debt, citing their connection to then-Princess Srirasmi.”

At the time of the alleged offenses, Natthapol and Narong “were serving in the Crown Prince’s personal bodyguard unit…”.

The three were arrested in November 2014.

Reuters states that a “purge of some of Srirasmi’s relatives began last year after the sudden dismissal of her uncle [Pongpat Chayapan], one of Thailand’s most senior police officers.” Since then dozens of her family and associates have been jailed.

The report then states: “As the arrests reached fever pitch Thailand’s Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn asked the government to strip his wife’s family of their royally-bestowed name.” We think this is a slippery way of reporting a chicken and egg story. The report implies that the prince ditched Srirasmi after her relatives were found to be up to no good. It is well known that Vajiralongkorn had a new wife on the side and that she was the favorite. Ditching Srirasmi with a huge story about crime seems convenient.

The closeness of all of this to the prince’s household raises many questions that no one in Thailand is permitted to ask.