Half-sister of 'Ying Kai' jailed for 50 years

Half-sister of 'Ying Kai' jailed for 50 years

Kamonthat Thanathornkhositjira is taken to the Crime Suppress Division on Aug 27 this year, one day after she was arrested in Nakhon Sawan. (File photo by Apichit Jinakul)
Kamonthat Thanathornkhositjira is taken to the Crime Suppress Division on Aug 27 this year, one day after she was arrested in Nakhon Sawan. (File photo by Apichit Jinakul)

A half-sister of accused human trafficker Monta "Ying Kai" Yokrattanakan was sent to jail for 50 years after the Criminal Court found her guilty on Friday of several serious charges including lese majeste.

Kamonthat Thanathornkhositjira, also known as Kim-eng Sae Tia, was sentenced to a total of 150 years on 33 counts but the term was reduced because of her confession.

The court found Kamonthat, 62, and her accomplice Sak Siriyakhom, 50, guilty of lese majeste, fraud, falsifying documents and invoking the royal institution.

The crimes took place on several occasions between Nov 1, 2010 and March 16, 2014, according to prosecution documents. Also charged are Ekkasit Thanathornkositjit, 68, and Taworn Puanprathum, 66, who have opted to fight the charges.

The charges against Kamonthat included making fake documents purported to be from the Office of His Majesty's Principal Private Secretary and conning people to contribute money for royal kathin ceremonies.

Kamonthat was originally sentenced to 150 years behind bars on 33 counts, while Sak received 144 years on 31 counts. As the two confessed in court, the sentences were halved. They were then reduced to 50 years, the maximim for combined jail terms under the law.

The pair were also ordered to pay back 5.14 million baht to the damaged parties.

Kamonthat, who was arrested in Nakhon Sawan on Aug 26, had earlier been accused of invoking the royal institution in a fund-raising scheme that swindled more than 3 million baht from the victims.

Pol Lt Col Ekkasit and Mr Thaworn told the court that they intended to fight the charges against them. The court ordered prosecutors to file separate cases against them within seven days.

Kamonthat was taken by Corrections Department officials to the Institute for Female Offenders inside the compound of Khlong Prem prison, while Sak was sent to the Special Remand Prison after the court adjourned.

"Kim-eng" is a half-sister of Monta Yokrattanakan, better known as "Ying Kai", a high-profile businesswoman accused of human trafficking.

The case of Ms Monta came to light earlier this year after former housekeepers accused her of lodging false theft complaints against them. The accusations were believed to have been made in retaliation for their refusal to accept Ms Monta's offers of highly paid employment, said to be related to prostitution.

She denied the charges in court at the opening of her trial on Monday. The next hearing of witnesses was scheduled for May 2-3 next year.

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