LM scandal explained

LM scandal explained

As evidence of their alleged extortion, police displayed valuables including guns, luxury watches, ceramic dolls, Buddha images, gems and even expensive guitars confiscated from the suspects, some of which had previously been seized from former Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) chief Pongpat Chayapan's network. PATIPAT JANTHONG
As evidence of their alleged extortion, police displayed valuables including guns, luxury watches, ceramic dolls, Buddha images, gems and even expensive guitars confiscated from the suspects, some of which had previously been seized from former Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) chief Pongpat Chayapan's network. PATIPAT JANTHONG

Police have explained in detail how the three suspects arrested recently on lese majeste charges allegedly tried to enrich themselves by citing the monarchy to gain funding from business operators.

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Suspects 'in extortion swindle'

Lese majeste accused 'used royals for profit'


Citing the monarchy to extort business operators is a key point of the ongoing probe into lese majeste allegations against two detained suspects and another who is deceased.

Police have compiled a total of 13 cases in the probe against Suriyan Sucharitpolwong, a well-known fortune-teller, known as Mor Yong; his close aide Jirawong Watthanathewasilp; Pol Maj Prakrom Warunprapa who was found dead in hanging in a military jail; and their alleged network.

National Police Chief Chakthip Chaijinda confers with his newly-appointed spokesman Pol Gen Detnarong Suthicharnbancha at yesterday's press conference. PATIPAT JANTHONG

In most of the cases, the three men have been accused of making false claims involving the monarchy and soliciting almost 6 million baht for personal gain.

In a police chart displayed at Wednesday's press conference, Mr Suriyan and Mr Jirawong allegedly cited the monarchy to seek sponsorship from business operators for commemorative pins for the "Bike for Mom" and "Bike for Dad" events and exploited the two royally sponsored cycling events for their own benefit.

They allegedly persuaded those involved in the price quoting to inflate the price and pocketed the difference, part of which was spent investing in a mutual fund and buying a condominium unit.

Mr Suriyan earlier served as an adviser to subcommittees responsible for holding the events.

Police said Mr Suriyan and Mr Jirawong cited the monarchy to seek sponsorship from Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group to provide funds of 3.05 million baht to produce 300,000 pins for Bike for Mom and sought 10.7 million baht from Muang Thai Life Assurance Plc and Muang Thai Insurance Plc to produce two million pins for the Bike for Dad event.

The two business groups declined to comment.

The trio's arrests surfaced last week when they were taken to the Military Court on Oct 21 for detention.

As evidence of their alleged extortion, police displayed valuables including guns, luxury watches, ceramic dolls, Buddha images and gems confiscated from the suspects.

The expensive guitars and other items displayed yesterday. PATIPAT JANTHONG

Some of these items had been seized from former Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) chief Pongpat Chayapan whose criminal network was brought down last year.

The ex-policeman is doing time for several counts of extortion in connection with lese majeste.

Assistant national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul, who heads the investigation, said Wednesday there are more than three suspects and police are collecting evidence to seek warrants for their arrest.

He also said staff from private firms which were allegedly solicited for money have been questioned and it is hoped the investigation will be wrapped up in the next few months.

Among 13 offences, Samart Telcoms Plc is one of the suspects charged by police for allegedly cooperating with Pol Maj Prakrom for setting up and possessing a radio telecommunications station without a licence.

But Samart Telcoms denied the allegation saying the company was only contacted by the communications division attached to the Office of Information and Communication to transfer a DTRS [digital trunked radio system] from Bung Kum station to Baiyoke 2 Tower to support the Bike for Mom event.

CIB commissioner Thitirat Nonghanpitak said Mr Suriyan tried to hide the money by transferring it to his relatives and erased some data from his laptop in an attempt to destroy evidence. Police are working to retrieve the data.

Pol Lt Gen Thitirat said eight police officers who were earlier transferred to inactive posts at the time the lese majeste allegations emerged are being investigated for alleged links.

National Police chief Chakthip Chaijinda denied reports that Pol Gen Prawut Thavornsiri tendered his resignation from the police force and searches were conducted at his house over his alleged connection to the lese majeste probe.

Pol Gen Chakthip insisted the ongoing investigation has found no connection to the police general, who is on leave.

"I've no idea how or where the reports [about Pol Gen Prawut] came about and I never discussed it," Pol Gen Chakthip said. "As for the change of the police spokesman, it is a routine change after a new police chief takes office. The entire spokesman team was replaced, not just one person."

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  • accused (noun): defendant; someone who has been accused of a crime and is on trial - ผู้ถูกกล่าวหา, จำเลย
  • adj (noun): connected with soldiers or the armed forces - ในทางทหาร,เกี่ยวกับทหาร
  • adviser (noun): a person who gives advice, especially somebody who knows a lot about a particular subject - ที่ปรึกษา
  • aide: someone whose job is to help another person in their work - ผู้ช่วย
  • allegations: statements that someone had done something wrong or illegal even though this has not been proved - ข้อกล่าวหา
  • alleged: claimed to be true although not yet proven; claimed to have done something wrong but not yet proven - ที่ถูกกล่าวหา
  • appointed: officially chosen for a job - ถูกแต่งตั้ง
  • arrest: (of the police) taking someone under control (usually taking them to a police station) because they are believed to have committed a crime - การจับกุม
  • assistant: a person who helps or supports somebody, usually in their job - ผู้ช่วย
  • attached to: assigned to work in or with an organization -
  • benefit: an advantage you get from a situation; a helpful or good effect, or something intended to help - ผลประโยชน์, ข้อได้เปรียบ, ผลดี
  • Central Investigation Bureau: a national police agency coordinating and assisting the work of provincial and city police components. - กองบัญชาการตำรวจสอบสวนกลาง
  • ceramic: pottery, earthenware - ศิลปะการทำเครื่องเคลือบดินเผา, เครื่องปั้นเผา , เซรามิก
  • charge: to accuse someone officially of committing a crime - ตั้งข้อกล่าวหา
  • chart: a page or sheet of information in the form of diagrams, lists of figures, etc - ตาราง, แผนผัง, กราฟ
  • chief: a person with a high rank or the highest rank in a company or an organisation - หัวหน้า, ผู้นำ
  • citing: mentioning as a reason - ให้ อ้างอิงเหตุผล
  • claim (noun): saying that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it - ข้ออ้าง ข้อกล่าวหา
  • commemorative: a done in order to remember an important person or event - เป็นที่ระลึก
  • comment: to express an opinion - แสดงความคิดเห็น
  • commissioner: the head of a particular police force in some countries - ผู้ตรวจการณ์
  • compile: to collect information from different places and arrange it in a book, report or list - รวบรวม
  • conduct: to do something in an organised way; to carry out — - ลงมือทำ, ดำเนิน, ปฏิบัติ
  • confer (verb): to discuss something with somebody, in order to exchange opinions or get advice - พบปะพูดคุย, สนทนาหารือกัน
  • confiscated: officially taken away - ถูกยึด
  • cooperate: to work with other people to achieve a result that is good for everyone involved - ร่วมมือกัน
  • count: each crime someone is accused of - คดี
  • criminal: illegal; against the law - ผิดกฎหมาย, นอกกฎหมาย
  • data: facts or information, especially when examined and used to find out things or to make decisions - ข้อมูล, ตัวเลข, สถิติ
  • deceased: dead - ซึ่งตายแล้ว
  • decline: to say politely that you will not accept something or do something - ปฏิเสธ
  • denied (verb): said that something is not true or did not happen - ปฏิเสธ
  • detained: kept in a place and not allowed to leave - กักตัว ควบคุมตัวหรือฝากขัง
  • detention (noun): the condition of being forced officially to stay in a place - การกักตัว
  • display: to put something in a particular place so that people can see it easily - โชว์, แสดง
  • division (noun): one part of a large company or organisation - แผนก
  • doing time (exp): serving a jail sentence; spending time in prison for committing a crime -
  • emerge: to become known - เป็นที่ประจักษ์ต่อ
  • erase: to remove something completely - ลบ
  • event: a planned public or social occasion - งานสังคม
  • evidence: facts statements or objects that help to prove whether or not someone has committed a crime - หลักฐาน
  • exploit: to use for your own benefit - หาประโยชน์จาก
  • extort: to try to illegally obtain something by force or threat - รีดไถ
  • extortion: the crime of trying to obtain something by force or threat - การขู่กรรโชก  รีดไถ
  • firm: a business or company - บริษัท
  • fortune-teller: a person who tells you what they think will happen to you in the future - หมอดู
  • funds: money needed or available to spend on something - เงินทุน
  • gain: a benefit, or an advantage - ผลประโยชน์
  • gem: a jewel (= precious stone), especially when cut into a particular regular shape - อัญมณี, เพชรพลอย
  • hang (verb): to kill somebody by tying a rope around their neck and allowing them to drop; to be killed in this way - ฆ่าด้วยการแขวนคอ
  • in connection with: relating to something - ที่เกี่ยวข้องกับ
  • inactive post: a job or position with no real responsibilities or duties -
  • inflate (verb): (of a price) to make higher than it should be - เพิ่มขึ้น, ทำให้เฟ้อ
  • invest: to spend money on something in order to make it better or more successful - ลงทุน
  • investigation: the process of trying to find out all the details or facts about something - การสอบสวน
  • involved (verb): taking part or having a role in something - เกี่ยวข้อง, มีบทบาท
  • jail (noun): a prison - เรือนจำ, ห้องขัง, คุก
  • key: most important - ที่สำคัญ
  • lese majeste: the crime of offending, threatening or showing disrespect for a member of the royal family - หมิ่นพระบรมเดชานุภาพ
  • licence: an official document that gives someone permission to do or use something - ใบอนุญาต
  • links: connections - ความเชื่อมโยงกัน
  • luxury: the best and most expensive of something - ที่หรูหรา 
  • military court (noun): a court run by the military - ศาลทหาร
  • mutual fund (noun): an investment fund that invests in a wife range of stocks and bonds, etc, the fund is divided into small units that are bought and sold, usually by people who invest only a small amount of money, in the UK called a "unit trust" -
  • network: a large system of connected parts, organisations, people, etc. - เครือข่าย
  • offence: a crime or illegal activity for which there is a punishment - การกระทำผิดกฎหมาย
  • ongoing: continuing - อย่างต่อเนื่อง
  • operator (noun): a person or company that runs a business - ผู้ดำเนินกิจการทางธุรกิจ, ผู้ประกอบธุรกิจ
  • personal: your own; not belonging to or connected with anyone else - เป็นส่วนตัว
  • persuade: to make someone agree to do something by giving them reasons why they should - โน้มน้าวใจ เกลี้ยกล่อม
  • pocket: to take or keep something, especially an amount of money, that does not or should not belong to you - เก็บเข้ากระเป๋า
  • possess: to have or own something - ครอบครอง, ถือครอง
  • press conference: an official meeting where someone makes a formal statement about a particular issue or event to journalists and answers their questions about it - การแถลงข่าว
  • private: involving groups, businesses or industries that are not owned or controlled by the government - เอกชน
  • probe: an investigation - การสอบสวน
  • profit: money that you make from selling goods and services after all your costs have been paid - กำไร
  • quote: to tell a customer how much money you will charge them for a job, service or product - แจ้งราคา
  • relative: a member of your family - ญาติพี่น้อง
  • replace: to put a new person or thing in the place of someone or something - แทน
  • responsible for: to have a duty to do something - มีความรับผิดชอบ
  • retrieve (verb): to get something back, especially something that is not easy to find - ได้กลับคืนมา
  • routine: ordinary and not interesting or special; usual and not done for any special reason - ตามปกติ
  • royal: a member of the family of a king and queen - บุคคลในราชวงศ์
  • search (noun): looking somewhere or through something carefully in order to find something - การค้นหา
  • serve: to function as; to be used as - ใช้เป็น, ทำหน้าที่เป็น
  • set up: to create something or start it - ตั้งขึ้น
  • solicit: to ask someone for something like money, information or help - เรียกร้อง
  • sought (past tense of seek): tried to get/do something; asked for something - พยายามได้, พยายามได้มา
  • spokesman: a person who speaks on behalf of a group or an organization - โฆษก
  • sponsorship: when a person or company that pays for a radio or television programme, or for a concert or sporting event, usually in return for advertising - ผู้อุปถัมภ์, ผู้ทำการโฆษณาทางวิทยุหรือโทรทัศน์
  • subcommittee: a smaller committee formed from a main committee in order to study a particular subject in more detail - คณะอนุกรรมการ
  • surface: to become known or seen - เป็นที่รู้, ปรากฏ, เปิดเผย
  • suspect: a person who is thought to have committed a crime - ผู้ต้องสงสัย
  • swindle (noun): obtaining money dishonestly from someone by deceiving or cheating them - การโกง, การหลอกลวง, การฉ้อโกง
  • take office: to begin to hold a position of power - เริ่มปฏิบัติหน้าที่ที่ได้รับมอบหมาย
  • tender a resignation: to formally offer to leave a position permanently in writing - ยื่นใบลาออก
  • the monarchy: the king or queen and their family in a particular country - สถาบันกษัตริย์
  • transfer: to move someone or something from one place, vehicle, person or group to another - ย้าย
  • trio (noun): a group of three people; a group of three - กลุ่มที่ประกอบด้วย 3 คน; กลุ่มที่ประกอบด้วย 3
  • valuables: small possessions that are worth a lot of money, for example jewellery - ของล้ำค่า
  • warrant (noun): a legal document that is signed by a judge and gives the police authority to do something - หมาย
  • wrapped up: finished -
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