Long memories, retribution, and rewards

1 10 2020

Back in late 2015, the military junta promoted events to make then Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn look more normally king-like. These were the “Bike for Mom” in August 2015 and the “Bike for Dad” in December 2015. Not everything went to plan.

Amid rumors of a plot to assassinate someone, Major General Suchart Prommai was charged with lese majeste. He and several others were said to have fled Thailand. The others were: Pol Col Pairoj Rojanakhajorn, a former chief of the Crime Suppression Division’s Sub-Division 2; and his then deputy Pol Lt Col Thammawat Hiranyalekha, as well as Col Khachachart Boondee.

Suchart was a former 11th Infantry Regiment commander, and was stripped of military rank. At the time, a report stated that he and his co-accused had “solicited money which they claimed would be used to fund the production of T-shirts for the ‘Bike for Mom’ cycling event…”.

These charges/accusations also involved fortune-teller and then prince confidante Suriyan Sucharitpolwong, known as Mor Yong, Jirawong Wattanathewasilp, Suriyan’s aide, and Pol Maj Prakrom Warunprapha. They were secretly arrested on or about 16 October 2015, charged with lese majeste. The three were taken to a then secret temporary prison inside the 11th Army Circle base.

A week after they were incarcerated, fears were expressed for their safety. A report stated that “special wardens” were appointed including “military officers and guards from the Corrections Department,” and their task was “to take care of three suspects…”.

Both Suriyan and Prakrom were soon dead. Screaming cover-up and following his earlier assurances that all men were safe and healthy, the Minister for Justice Gen Paiboon Khumchaya declared the cases closed in less than 36 hours.

The military junta quickly washed its hands of Suriyan’s death, just as it had of Prakrom’s, and it was business as usual.

Years later, Khaosod reports that two of the officers accused of lese majeste in 2015-16  were recently stripped of their royal decorations by a palace order:

An announcement published in the Royal Government Gazette said Lt. Col. Thammawat Hiranyalekha and Col. Pairot Rojanakachorn lost both of their police ranks and any decorations they received from … the King. The order cited the court’s arrest warrants on the two men for royal defamation and falsely claiming ties to the monarchy for personal gains.

Another police officer, Lt. Col. Thanabat Prasertwit, former deputy chief of the Anti-Human Trafficking Division, was also said to have conducted similar wrongdoings and subsequently stripped of his royal decorations in the same announcement.

Pairot, who served as a commander of the Crime Suppression Division, and his deputy Thammawat were charged in 2015 after police launched a crackdown on a massive criminal ring in which nearly 30 people were arrested for profiteering from their royal connections.

Pairot, Thammawat, and Thanabat were said to be close aides of Prakrom, whom police said was the mastermind behind the alleged crime ring. They are believed to have fled overseas.

This sorry tale sheds further light on how the king’s palace operates and how slitherers are rewarded. We note that Gen Paiboon Khumchaya was soon appointed to the Privy Council and that former Corrections Department director-general Naras Savestanan was recently made a deputy Lord Chamberlain in the palace.





Updated: More princely lese majeste charges planned

25 11 2015

As the last survivor of the cohort of three arrested on or about 16 October 2015, so-called lese majeste suspect Jirawong Watthanathewasilp was again taken to the Military Court in Bangkok on Wednesday, and his detention at a prison inside a military base “was extended for the fourth time.” He is now detained until 7 December.Jirawong

The Post reports that “Jirawong  was escorted to the court by warders and soldiers. He appeared stressed and kept his head bent down as he entered the premises.”

Those arrested with him, Suriyan Sujaritpolwong, or Mor Yong, a fortune teller and Pol Maj Prakrom Warunprapha have both died in mysterious circumstances in custody. All three men were previously associated with Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn and seem to have fallen out with him or, depending on the rumor you hear, were separated from the prince’s entourage by those trying to neutralize or control the prince.prince and suthida

Meanwhile, it seems that these three cases are soon to be joined by several others.

Police now say that the Suriyan and associates case they are “investigating” is “wide-ranging.” In fact, all of this stuff is essentially concocted out of the “normal” things that people associated with the monarchy do. But someone higher up wants to have this done.

Police claim that they have now “sought warrants for several police and military officers…”.

The warrants are for the “arrest of Pol Col Pairote Rojkachorn, former chief of the 2nd sub-division of the Crime Suppression Division, Pol Lt Col Thammawat Hiranyalekha, former deputy chief of the CSD’s 2nd sub-division, and several other [unnamed] police and military officers and civilians.”

A police general stated that “they had committed lese majeste on different occasions in connection with one another.”Saturno devorando a su hijo

The courts are likely to quickly approve the warrants. Apparently, “[p]olice had been sent to keep the suspects under watch.  They would arrest them once the courts approved the warrants…”.

The general also stated:

It was not yet known whether three other police officers — an officer holding the rank of police general, an officer with the rank of police lieutenant general who was transferred to the Royal Thai Police’s operations centre yesterday, and Pol Maj Gen Akradej Pimolsri, chief of the Crime Suppression Division — would also be arrested for lese majeste charges….

It seems there are now 17 linked lese majeste cases.

Update: Khaosod names a third suspect and provides further details. The army officer involved is Maj. Gen. Suchart Prommai. It adds:

Suchart served as a senior adviser to the Royal Thai Army and personal aide to its former chief, Gen. Udomdej Sitabutr, who retired from the post in October. Pairoj and Thammawat are former officers from the Crime Suppression Division.

Udomdej’s days must be numbered. As we said previously, he’s likely to abscond now that the lese majeste and corruption dragnets involve him.

Khaosod includes this disclaimer:

Like other lese majeste cases and issues involving the monarchy, the ongoing investigation into the three suspects has been conducted in secret. Media agencies have been told by authorities not to report anything other than official statements and authorized disclosures.








%d bloggers like this: