The police arrested the wife of a high-ranking police officer and charged her with lèse majesté for allegedly using the name of the monarchy to sell overpriced chili paste and other food products.
Pol Maj Gen Sombat Milintachinda, chief investigator of the Metropolitan Police, and several other police officers arrested Sudathip M., the 45-year-old wife of Pol Col Kowit M., former Director of Immigration Police of Samut Sakhon Province, after the criminal court issue a warrant for her arrest on lèse majesté charges.
The warrant was issued after the Bureau of the Royal Household filed a complaint against her for falsely using the name of the monarchy to sell chili paste and other food products for several times more than the market price. Since the suspect used the name of the monarchy, buyers were pressured to buy the overpriced products.
In late November Sudathip was charged with land encroachment and encroaching onto public waterways together with her husband in connection with the notorious case of Pol Lt Gen Pongpat C., former Commander of the Central Investigation Bureau, who was charged with lèse majesté, accepting bribes, money laundering and misconduct, but she and her husband were released on bail on 24 November.
Kowit, however, was transferred from his post in the Immigration Division because of the alleged charges.
According to Pol Lt Gen Sriwara Rangsiphramanakul, Commander of the Metropolitan Police, three lèse majesté suspects associated with Kowit and Pongpat, namely 43-year-old Nopporn Suppipat , 45-year-old Preecha Daratrai and 45-year-old Paichet Methee-ariyapong.
At least nine people have been charged with lèse majesté in the crackdown on the network of Pol Lt Gen Pongpat, which involved the three Akharaphongpreecha siblings, who were also charged with kidnapping for ransom on top of the lèse majesté charges.
The Akharaphongpreecha siblings held a royally-assigned surname prior to their arrests. However, it has now been revoked.
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