Man accused of lese majeste after claiming monarchy in scam

A prosecutor and several others filed lèse majesté complaints against the Secretary-General of the Office of The Under Royal Graciousness [sic] for embezzling money through a false royal project.  

According to Nation Channel, Peuk Lerdswangpong, the head of the Rubber Holders Co-Operatives Federation of Thailand, two other individuals, and a prosecutor on Friday filed lèse majesté complaints against Chainarin N., Secretary-General of the Office of The Under Royal Graciousness, and 13 other associates.

The prosecutor told Crime Suppression Division officers that Chainarin and 13 other associates made false claims about a royal project for personal economic benefit.

He accused Chainarin of asking nearly a hundred high-ranking public administrators and businessmen to participate in a programme called ‘Pillar of the Kingdom’, in which individual participants were each charged up to 100,000 baht (about 3,050 USD).

The programme was organized in May 2014.

Most participants, such as Jirasak Sugandhajati, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, Gen Worapong Sanganetra, Chief of Defence Forces, and Charoon Inthachan, President of the Constitutional Court, were led to believe that the programme was a part of a royal initiative and they had to pay a large amount to join.

The prosecutor and others presented many documents as evidence.

Earlier on 17 November, Lt Col Burin Thongprapai of the military’s Judge Advocate General’s Office and other military officers conducted a search of the Office of The Under Royal Graciousness and arrested Chainarin in connection with the lèse majesté allegations.

According to ASTV-Manager Online, the arrest was made after M.R. Somlabh Kitiyakara, the former Secretary-General of the Office of The Under Royal Graciousness, filed a lèse majesté complaint against Chainarin.

According to the official website of the Office of The Under Royal Graciousness, it is an umbrella organization founded by Somlabh and other members of the Kritiyakara family in 2011. It was established to give support to and implement royal initiatives in accordance to the King’s speeches usually delivered on his birthday.

 

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