Pongpat's kin sued for lese majeste

Pongpat's kin sued for lese majeste

An elderly man on Monday sued a nephew of convicted former Central Investigation Bureau chief Pongpat Chayapan for fraud and lese majeste.

Banterng Naemeesaen, 73, filed a complaint with Pol Col Akkaradej Pimolsri, acting chief of the Crime Suppression Division (CSD), accusing Ekkachai Ployhin of conning him into paying 1.3 million baht to use his influence to get his son from under serious drug charges, ASTV Manager reported. 

Mr Banterng said his son, Paitoon, was arrested and jailed for possession of 200,000 methamphetamine pills in Ratchaburi province in 2008. Feeling pity toward his son, Mr Banterng tried to seek help from an influential figure and was eventually introduced to Mr Ekkachai by a military officer who claimed the man was connected to some phuyai and could get the charges dropped.  

Mr Banterng asked his daughter to deliver the 1.3 million baht, which he borrowed from other people, to Mr Ekkachai as an "administration fee" at a hotel in Muang Ratchaburi district. He said he found out later the promised help was a hoax.

He said he did not dare to complain with police, as Mr Ekkachai had threatened him that he was a relative of then-Her Royal Highness Princess Srirasm, now officially known as Thanphuying Srirasmi Suwadee, and a nephew of Pol Lt Gen Pongpat, then CSD chief.

The elderly father said he came to the police after many people in the Suwadee family had been arrested in several criminal cases.

Pol Col Akkaradej said police would collect evidence before proceeding further with the case.  He also encouraged anyone else who had dealings with Mr Ekkachai to come forward and not fear his alleged connections.

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