Court rejects plea; high-society figure charged with perjury, human trafficking and lese majeste following complaint.
THE Ratchadaphisek Criminal Court heeded the police plea and turned down the bail application of high-society figure Monta “Ying Kai” Yokratanakan, who was yesterday charged with perjury (giving false information about a criminal offence implicating another person), attempted human trafficking, and lese majeste.
The charges were pressed by the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) after Monta turned herself in to authorities yesterday following summons issued for her.
Monta was interrogated for two hours. She denied all charges.
The court rejected her bail application on the grounds that the charges against her carried serious punishments, including tarnishing the reputation of a high institution.
As her alleged lese majeste action happened before the junta’s order took effect, she was sent to the Central Women Correctional Institution instead of a military prison.
The charges stemmed from Monta’s complaint to police that her former maid Prapawan “Goi” Jaikla, 18, and Prapawan’s parents stole Bt10 million worth of gold bars and cash.
An arrest warrant was issued for Prapawan, who was detained for three months despite her claim that she was innocent and had been accused of theft because she had refused Monta’s offer to work abroad.
Several other former employees of Monta allegedly were also falsely accused.
Before police sought a court detention order for Monta, CSD deputy superintendent Pol Colonel Chakrit Sawatdee led police to search her condominium in the Prachaniwet area.
During the search, police seize 19 passports and nine bank books as evidence.
Police also discovered that the one-bedroom condominium was equipped with two security cameras, prompting Chakrit to question why Monta had only used footage from a hallway camera to substantiate her complaint against Prapawan, when the inside cameras would presumably have given clearer evidence of the alleged theft.
Chakrit said police had sufficient evidence to charge Monta with perjury and human trafficking, adding that four witnesses had accused Monta of making claims that could be construed as lese majeste.
Meanwhile, Metropolitan Police Bureau acting chief Pol Lt-General Sanit Mahathaworn said Monta’s previous move to drop complaints alleging theft and embezzlement complaints against three Cambodian employees and another fraud complaint against a Thai woman were within her rights as the “damaged party”.
However, Sanit said city police and CSD officers would cooperate to investigate those cases, which are among nine complaints she had filed at the Prachacheun Police Station.
If those complaints were based on falsehoods, authorities would proceed accordingly, Sanit said.
He added that police would also investigate a former employee’s allegation that Prachacheun police were involved in a complaint of theft against her.
Police will also try to verify a rumour that Monta was linked to the late astrologer Suriyan “Mor Yong” Sucharitpholwong, who was charged with royal defamation and died in a military prison last year.
Monta has denied any link to Suriyan.
On Wednesday, Prapawan and her lawyer Kamonsak Sriprasert provided additional information to CSD investigators about her period of employment with Monta, as police tried to determine if Monta’s behaviour constituted human trafficking.
Kamonsak said lawyers had found at least six other alleged victims, including one who was under 18 and had been brought to work in Laos for two years.
He alleged that there was also evidence suggesting Monta had invited young women to work in Hong Kong, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos for jobs that required the women to “take care” of VIP people in casinos and gambling dens.
There are suspicions that Monta conducted her business with the support of influential people possibly including politicians, high-ranking police or military officers, he added.
Prapawan claimed that during her employment she saw about 20 passports belonging to young women who had previously worked for Monta.
In a related development, Mae Hong Son deputy governor Suwapong Kittipattarapibul presided over a meeting yesterday of a working team of 17 members from relevant agencies to set guidelines for compensating Monta’s alleged victims, including those that have been prosecuted.
So far six alleged victims from Mae La Noi district have been identified, including 25-year-old Janthana “Noona” Khotkongthai who served an 18-month jail term after Monta accused her of theft in 2010.
Officials also prepared to request a witness-protection security detail to encourage other people to step forward to testify.
Monta reportedly hired girls and women from hill tribe ethnic communities to work for her in Bangkok, some of whom later were jailed after she accused them of theft.
Monta “Ying Kai” Yokratanakan has filed nine complaints at Bangkok’s Prachacheun Police Station:
Year Case Information Progress so far
2010 A theft complaint against Mae Hong Son teenager Janthana “Noona” Khotkongthai , 18 A criminal court sentenced Janthana to 18 months in jail
April 22, 2011 A theft complaint against Laotian women identified as Kabkaew, 20, and Thamma, 23 Unknown
December 18, 2014 An embezzlement complaint against Cambodian Seng Cho-un, 24 Monta dropped the charge
December 18, 2014 An embezzlement complaint against a Cambodian identified as Phae, 19 Monta dropped the charge
December 18, 2014 An embezzlement and theft complaint against a Cambodian identified as Pha, 22 Monta dropped the charge
March 18, 2015 A theft complaint against Prapawan “Goi” Jaikla, then 17, and her parents Trial ongoing
December 4, 2015 A theft complaint against Sukanya Sirimoung, 54 Trial ongoing
December 27, 2015 A Bt2-million fraud complaint against a Thai woman, Kirana Boonpho Monta dropped the charge
January 4, 2016 A property damage complaint against Colonel Yothin Asawamet Unknown