Ying Kai unveils identity and vows to fight

Ying Kai unveils identity and vows to fight

Montra Yokrattanakan, or Ying Kai, smiles as she enters Crime Suppression Division headquarters to meet investigators on Friday. (Photo by Tawatchai Kemgumnerd)
Montra Yokrattanakan, or Ying Kai, smiles as she enters Crime Suppression Division headquarters to meet investigators on Friday. (Photo by Tawatchai Kemgumnerd)

A woman accused of making false theft complaints against her maids has lifted the veil on her identity and reported to police, saying she's ready to fight the case.

Montra Yokrattanakan, better known in the media as Ying Kai, met on Friday with Crime Suppression Division (CSD) officers. Accompanied by her lawyer, Thanabordee Sepratanon, she said she had no intention to flee the country after reports emerged that she was under police investigation.

A former maid alleges that Ms Montra concocted the theft story after the young woman's family refused to let her go to work in Hong Kong, where Ms Montra allegedly said she could earn as much as 5 million baht.

Ms Montra filed a complaint with the Pracha Chuen police accusing Praphawan Jaikla, 19, and her parents, Chukiat Jaikla and Praphaporn Thongfueng, of stealing several valuable items from her home at the National Housing Authority's Pracha Niwet Building 1 in Chatuchak district on March 18 last year. The missing items were said to have included 40 gold bars, a gold ornament and a diamond necklace, worth more than 10 million baht in all.

Ms Praphawan was subsequently detained for almost two months at Ban Pranee for Girls but police were unable to wrap up the case and she was released. However, they continued their investigation and are now preparing to send the case to prosecutors.

She and her parents went public with their story this month as she was worried that the accusation would destroy her future. She has been accepted into the engineering faculty at the Sakhon Nakhon campus of Kasetsart University.

On June 17, four days before the young woman was scheduled to report to Pracha Chuen police, lawyer Songkran Athariyasap stepped in to help the family. Mr Songkran, who is also the chairman of a group called the Network against Acts that Destroy Kingdom, Religion and Monarchy, took the three to submit a petition to the CSD on June 21 to seek justice.

Mr Songkran subsequently uncovered similar cases involving Ms Montra and other maids and urged them all to come forward.

After the case became the talk of the town, Ms Montra held a news conference at the Siam Paradise Hotel in Bangkok on Monday to affirm that she had evidence to accuse Ms Praphawan and her parents. She appeared at the event in a headscarf and sunglasses, leading to speculation about her identity. The speculation pointed to one name: Montra Yokrattanakan.

Her appearance at the CSD on Friday confirmed her identity.

Ms Montra repeated her claim on Friday that she had evidence to back her story and would disclose it at another news conference in the next three days.

She said she was being targeted by "former employees", without naming anyone, and was consulting her lawyer before deciding whether to sue Mr Songkran and others for damaging her reputation.

As Ying Kai prepared to fight, another woman came to the CSD to seek advice from investigators about lodging a complaint against Ms Montra and seeking financial compensation.

Chanthana Kotchkongthai, 25, was accompanied by her husband Thanathip Srising and an official of the Pracha Thanabordee Centre of the Social Development and Human Security Ministry in Mae Hong Son. She said Ms Montra had accused her of stealing diamonds while in her employ between 2008 and 2010.

Ms Chanthana said Ms Montra forced her to confess after telling her that her parents would be in trouble if she didn't. The confession resulted in her being jailed for 18 months, she said.

The former maid said her criminal record now made it difficult to find work and insisted that she was innocent.

She said she was also offered a chance to go to Hong Kong with Ms Montra, who promised to pay her in seven figures. The nature of the work she would do there was not disclosed.

Meanwhile, Ms Praphawan and her parents met CSD investigators again on Friday to provide more information.

Her mother, Ms Praphaporn, told reporters that her family was targeted by Ms Montra after they refused her offer to get Ms Praphawan a job in Hong Kong, which would pay between 2 million and 5 million baht.

"I didn't accept that. I wanted my daughter to study," she said. "That made her angry and she threatened to take legal action against us on theft charges."

Ms Praphawan said earlier that she had been working as a maid with her mother to earn extra income while waiting for her entrance exam results in March last year.

At the time, Ms Montra tried to persuade her to work in Hong Kong. After she turned down the offer, she and her mother left their jobs without notifying Ms Montra. Shortly afterward, she was arrested by police, who had CCTV footage of the two carrying their bags as they left Ms Montra's house.

The CSD, meanwhile, is also looking into a third case involving another woman who is currently in Klong Prem Remand Prison awaiting trial on theft charges brought by Ms Montra.


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