Thai police search ex-palace official’s house

Thai police have searched the house of a former high ranking palace official accused under the lèse majesté law, confiscating 10 million baht’s worth of cash and property.   

According to the Thai News Agency, Pol Lt Gen Prawut Thavornsiri, spokesman of the Royal Thai Police, and investigating officers on Sunday carried out a search of the house of Montri S., a former palace official serving Srirasmi, the former royal consort to the Crown Prince. Montri is accused of citing the monarchy for personal gain.

The police obtained a search warrant from the Southern Criminal Court of Bangkok and the accused was brought to attend the search of his residence in southern Bangkok.

During the search, police confiscated eight savings passbooks, two cars, and a purchase agreement document for a condominium in central Bangkok.

The investigating officers said that the value of property and cash confiscated was about 10 million baht (296,855 USD).

Prawut stated that the police will investigate whether Montri’s wealth was acquired before or after 2011, the year in which he became a palace official.

He added that the police will work with the Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) to investigate the source of the suspect’s wealth.

According to Khaosod English, the suspect might face the death penalty for allegations of lèse majesté, corruption, and malfeasance in office.  

"The maximum penalty the suspect is facing is execution," Khaosod English quoted Pol.Col. Ekkarak Limsangkart as saying. "But how he will be punished depends on the judgment of the court."

Last week, Pol Gen Somyos Pumpanmuang, the chief of the Royal Thai Police, held a press conference on the arrest warrant for Montri under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law.

The police requested an arrest warrant against Montri after they were informed by the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) that the suspect allegedly cited the monarchy to obtain positions on the executive boards of PTT Public Company Limited, the state-owned oil and gas company, and CAT Telecom Public Company Limited, the state-owned company that runs Thailand’s international telecommunications infrastructure.

In addition to Article 112, the suspect is also accused under Articles 148, 149, and 157 of the Criminal Code, and Articles 123 and 123/1 of the 2009 Anti-Corruption Act.

Montri is also accused of accepting bribes in brokering a property deal in the western province of Phetchaburi.

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