BANGKOK — A suspected accomplice in the case of an alleged royal impostor was arrested on a charge of insulting the monarch, police said Tuesday.
Thaworn Puangprathim, 66, was accused of impersonating a royal palace official and helping the other suspect, Kamonthat “Kim Eng” Thanathornkhositjira, solicit donations for what they said were for members of the Royal Family.
“The suspect … dressed himself to look similar to an official from the royal palace to fool victims into believing that Mrs. Kim Eng was someone close to people in the high circle,” said Police Maj. Gen. Sommai Kongwisaisuk, referring to an alias of Kamonthat. “As for other details, we cannot reveal them, because they concern a criminal investigation.”
Thaworn, who used to work for the Royal Household Bureau, was arrested at his home in Bangkok’s Huai Khwang district Monday night. He was charged with royal defamation and fraud. The former offense, also known as lese majeste, carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.
Police are also looking for another suspect in the same case, a man called Somsak Siriyakhom.
Kamonthat, 62, was arrested Saturday morning on a charge of insulting the monarchy. She’s an older sister of another lese majeste suspect called Monta “Ying Kai” Yokrattanakan, who was arrested July 7.
Police said they both claimed false ties to the monarchy for their own personal gain, but added that their crimes were unrelated.
The sisters are currently held in a Bangkok women’s prison to await their trials for lese majeste.