Lawyer not buying Ying Kai health claims

Lawyer not buying Ying Kai health claims

More alleged victims to come forward

Monta "Ying Kai" Yokrattanakan reports to the Crime Suppression Division on Thursday, July 8. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)

A lawyer for a group of workers who have accused Monta "Ying Kai" Yokrattanakan of exploitation on Saturday expressed disbelief at claims she is suffering a mental illness.

Lawyer Songkan Atchariyasap, chairman of the Network Against Acts that Destroy the Kingdom, Religion and Monarchy, was responding to Central Investigation Bureau commissioner Thitirat Nongharnphithak, who said that Ms Monta may have a mental illness because she cannot control her behaviour at times and advised that she seek treatment.

Mr Songkan said he did not believe Ms Monta is mentally ill because she appears to function normally.

He added that Ms Monta had tried to prove her innocence and had shown quickness of mind when responding to media interviews.

Even if Ms Monta is mentally ill and she brings the issue to fight in court, judges should focus on the alleged offences she has committed, Mr Songkan said.

According to the lawyer, more alleged victims of Ying Kai are coming forward and evidence is being gathered to prosecute her.

Ms Monta is facing charges of making false complaints to police, attempted human trafficking and insulting the royal institution.

Pol Lt Gen Thitirat said on Friday that police were checking whether Ms Monta had a medical record of receiving treatment for mental illness. He said if a record is found, it would bolster her defence.

Officers have so far opened more than 10 cases against Ms Monta, with more likely to come, he said.

He said police are working on the cases, although Ms Monta is reportedly close to several police officers.

Mr Songkan said a police lieutenant with the Pracha Chuen Police Station was close to Ms Monta; the officer had been asked to care for her car wash and pay salaries to cleaners.

The officer and Ms Monta also ran a job placement service together, the lawyer said, adding the police lieutenant also investigated a theft charge against one of her employees, Sukanya Sirimuang, 54, who was accused of stealing cash and valuables worth about three million baht from Ms Monta.

Crime Suppression Division deputy chief Chakrit Sawasdee confirmed yesterday the police lieutenant had decided to press a theft charge against Praphawan Jaikla, one of Ms Monta's former employees, because he was under pressure from her and believed her to hold the title of khunying.

The lieutenant said Ms Monta also brought CCTV footage as evidence, which he accepted without verifying whether the theft had taken place.

Mr Songkan said he had given information to deputy national police chief Pongsapat Pongcharoen, who promised Pracha Chuen police officers who mishandled cases involving Ms Monta would be transferred by next Friday.

Police are also interviewing witnesses over lese majeste charges against Ms Monta.

She is alleged to have committed three offences in relation to the charge in 2012, 2013 and last year, according to a police source.

Based on the 2012 case, a witness told investigators that a cleaner who worked for Ms Monta said her boss boasted about being close to royalty. The woman said Ms Monta demanded she call her "khunying", a title bestowed by the King, and was told to kneel when greeting her.

Another witness to last year's cases cited the same offence, the source said.

According to another witness, who jointly invested in a business with Ms Monta in 2013, she told them that guests from the royal institution would come to an opening ceremony of the company and had asked Pracha Chuen police to greet them. However, no one from the royal household turned up, the source said.

An investigation is under way and another arrest warrant could be sought through the Military Court, the source added.

Ms Montha came under new scrutiny after Mr Songkan said on Friday her trusted driver, Ko, mysteriously disappeared four years ago as did a millionairess from whom she asked to buy a land plot in Udon Thani in 2003.

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