BANGKOK — The court acquitted a well-known socialite of human trafficking Monday, though she will continue to serve a sentence for royal defamation.
Monta Yokrattanakan, better known as Ying Kai, was cleared of charges that she enslaved three women and forced them to work as her housekeepers for nearly four years.
Rejecting the prosecution’s argument that she held them captive from 2006 to 2010, the court said the three women testified that they had access to phones and received money from Monta to go on leisure trips.
The 62-year-old broke down in tears in the courtroom upon hearing the verdict and thanked the judges for their verdict.
Monta’s high-profile arrest in 2016 came as a shock to many because the socialite was a regular among the upper stratosphere of society. Apart from human trafficking charges, police also accused her of insulting the royal family by claiming false ties to the monarchy for personal gain.
The arrest was part of a purge of those allegedly perpetrating fraud by exploiting ties to the monarchy.
The court found her guilty of two separate counts of royal defamation in 2017 and 2018. She’s serving a prison sentence of 14 years.
Monta is currently jailed in Klong Prem Central Prison.