Pongpat kin indicted on lese majeste

Pongpat kin indicted on lese majeste

Ekkachai Ployhin is escorted by police to the Criminal Court on Ratchaphisek Road on Feb 4.
Ekkachai Ployhin is escorted by police to the Criminal Court on Ratchaphisek Road on Feb 4.

Public prosecutors on Wednesday indicted a relative of convicted former Central Investigation Bureau chief Pongpat Chayapan for insulting the monarchy and demanding bribes.

Ekkachai Ployhin, 28, was arrested on Feb 3 for allegedly talking Banterng Naemeesaen, 73, into handing over 1.3 million baht for him to use his influence to get Mr Banterng's son Paitoon off serious drug charges. 

According to prosecutors, Mr Ekkachai spoke to Mr Paitoon’s wife, Bussaba, on Dec 12, 2008 on the telephone. He said he was the nephew of Her Royal Highness Princess Srirasm, now officially known as Thanphuying Srirasmi Suwadee, and demanded two million baht in order to clear Paitoon. 

Mr Banterng told Ms Bussaba to deliver an initial 1.3 million baht to Mr Ekkachai at a hotel in Ratchaburi’s Muang district on Dec 22. 

But after the money was handed over, Paitoon was not bailed and eventually received a prison sentence from the Ratchaburi Provincial Court.

The prosecutors alleged the defendant intended to convince his victim that he was close to the royal institution and therefore could help Paitoon. He confessed to the accusations during a police interrogation. 

Mr Ekkachai, who is detained at Bangkok Remand Prison, was also indicted for possessing firearms and ammunition without permission. 

The prosecution opposed bail for Mr Ekkachai on the grounds that the charges carry a high penalty and the defendant may flee if released. 

The ex-CIB chief’s kin is ordered to appear for arraignment in the Criminal Court on Thursday morning to enter a plea. 

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