Court rejects Ying Kai arrest warrant

Court rejects Ying Kai arrest warrant

Lawyer Songkan Atchariyasap leads Praphawan Jaikla, 19, (in school uniform) and Waritchaya Boonsoonheng, 21, to seek temporary release of Ms Waritchaya's mother at the Criminal Court on Tuesday. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)
Lawyer Songkan Atchariyasap leads Praphawan Jaikla, 19, (in school uniform) and Waritchaya Boonsoonheng, 21, to seek temporary release of Ms Waritchaya's mother at the Criminal Court on Tuesday. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

The Criminal Court on Tuesday rejected a police request to arrest “Ying Kai”, the 56-year-old bogus khunying -- a royally-bestowed title for a woman -- for making a false theft complaint against a mother and daughter who were her former housekeepers.

The court said Monta Yokrattanakan, known as Ying Kai, did not pose a flight risk as she has a permanent address and often gives interviews with the press, therefore the police should summon the suspect for questioning first. 

Pol Col Chakrit Sawasdee, deputy chief of the Crime Suppression Division, said officials would summon Mrs Monta to hear the charge on Monday at 10am and she could bring a witness to confute the charge. Police will not hold her after she arrives, he said. 

Ms Monta said she would not flee and would answer the summons. She left Bangkok for Chiang Rai on Tuesday to make merit. 

Monta “Ying Kai” Yokrattanakan

Mrs Monta was accused of extortion and lodging false theft complaints against several people who previously worked for her as maids after they refused to obey her orders to work overseas or they quit their job and returned home. Some of her former employees have served or are serving sentences for theft charges.

Police are also investigating whether the woman has breached lese majeste laws for claiming to be a khunying, as well as anti-human trafficking laws for allegedly trying to force her former employees to work outside of Thailand. 

Mrs Monta has denied all allegations and said she would sue anyone who “bullied” her. 

Tuesday’s court denial to approve an arrest warrant for Ms Monta relates to a counter-complaint filed against Mrs Monta by Praphawan Jaikla, 19, one of her alleged victims. 

The young woman from Nakhon Phanom was detained at Ban Pranee for Girls for almost two months last year after she refused Ms Monta’s job offer in Hong Kong. She said her employer then filed a false complaint with Pracha Chuen police, accusing her and her mother of stealing jewellery worth millions of baht from Ms Monta’s condominium in Bangkok’s Chatuchak district. 

It was not known what job Ms Monta wanted her to do in Hong Kong. Ms Praphawan, now a first-year student at Kasetsart University's campus in Sakon Nakhon, said she took legal action against Ms Monta to seek justice for the alleged crime that she had not committed.

Meanwhile, the Criminal Court approved a request on Monday to temporarily release Sukanya Sirimuang, 54, who had been detained at the Central Women's Correctional Institution since December last year in a theft case brought by Ms Monta. 

Mrs Sukanya was accused by Mrs Monta of stealing cash and valuables worth 3.26 million baht last year after she refused an employment offer in Hong Kong and left her employer’s residence. 

Mrs Sukanya’s daughter, Waritchaya Boonsoonheng, 21, alleged Mrs Monta forced her mother to write a confession and promised to withdraw the complaint she had filed with Pracha Chuen police. But after her mother complied, the employer refused to help her mother, Ms Waritchaya said.

The Samut Prakan native was released on a 200,000 baht surety provided by the Justice Fund. The bail application was filed by lawyer Songkan Atchariyasap, chairman of the Network Against Acts that Destroy Kingdom, Religion and Monarchy, who represents Ms Monta’s alleged victims.

Also on Monday, two women, Kanchana Sakuldoi and Onranee Chaopanya, in Mae Hong Son's Mae La Noi district petitioned the DSI in the province to take legal action against Ms Monta. According to the petition, they said Ms Monta persuaded them to work as maids seven years ago, promising a monthly salary of 7,000 baht and to sponsor their studies. After they took the jobs, they said they were denied both their studies and payment.

When they fled home, Ms Monta allegedly threatened the family of Ms Kanchana, then 18, over the phone and filed a false theft complaint against Ms Onranee, who was later detained for a year in prison. 

The women want the DSI to look into whether Ms Monta’s actions are deemed to be offences related to human trafficking.

Acting city police chief Sanit Mahathaworn said Mrs Monta had filed nine complaints against 12 individuals at Pracha Chuen police station from 2010 to 2015. Of the nine cases, four involves theft charges, four for embezzlement, and one for mischief. Some of the embezzlement cases have been settled in court.   

Pol Lt Gen Sanit pledged to give justice to all people concerned. He said a working panel will be set up to find out if police in charge of the cases treated them improperly and if the suspects had really committed the crimes. 

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