RANONG — The military has raided the home of a man whose satirical Facebook photos of his cat wearing different costumes have become an internet phenomenon.
Kriangkrai Suetrong’s cat Johny is widely known among Thais for dressing up to parody famous scandals or controversies in Thailand.
Military personnel raided Mr. Kriangkria's home in Ranong province yesterday after he posted photo of Johny wearing a military costume with fake military weapons, mocking the declaration of martial law on Tuesday that escalated into a full-blown coup on Thursday.
Mr Kriangkrai said that when he asked the soldiers to present a search warrant, they told him that no document was needed because Ranong province was under martial law, which gives them the power to search residences and detain individuals without warrants.
Mr. Kriangkai said the soldiers searched every nook and cranny of his home for "illegal materials." When nothing suspicious was found, the soldiers asked him to sign a document confirming that the search had taken place, Mr. Kriangkai said.
"Personally, I don't agree with martial law,” said Mr. Kriangkai. “It has been in place in Ranong for eight years now, however the military has not exercised their power in full until now."
Martial law was declared in Ranong and other "Deep South" provinces in 2006 due to attacks by Islamist separatists on security forces and civilians.
Pol.Maj.Gen. Yutthana Thongpan, a police commander at Mueang Ranong Police Station, said that the military and police search of Mr. Kriangkai's residence was not an effort to intimidate him.
According to Pol.Maj.Gen. Yutthana, security forces are currently conducting sweeping searches across the area to look for illegal weapon caches.
"Mr. Kriangkai's house was merely one on the list," Pol.Maj.Gen. Yutthana said, adding that no property was damaged during the search.
"[Mr. Kriangkai] fully cooperated with the officers," Pol.Maj.Gen. Yutthana said.
Mr. Kriangkai’s Facebook account "Johnny the Supphalak Cat" currently has over 100,000 "likes."
Johny has appeared in television shows, magazines, and has been named one of the 12 most famous cats in the world by a number of media outlets.
When a monk was exposed to own millions of baht and luxury items in 2013, Johny appeared on his Facebook account wearing towel that resembled monk's robe with Louis Vuitton bag at his side.
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