Special wardens chosen to ensure lese majeste suspects' well-being

national October 24, 2015 01:00

By THE NATION

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POLICE CONFISCATE ASSETS, CHECKING TO SEE IF THEY CAN BE LINKED TO CASE



A GROUP of special wardens, made up of military officers and guards from the Corrections Department, has been appointed to take care of three suspects detained over in a high-profile lese majeste case. 
The wardens’ key responsibility is to ensure the three men’s well-being during detention, a source linked to the case has revealed.
The suspects are well-known fortune teller Suriyan Sujaritpolwong, 53, his secretary Jirawong Wattanathewasilp, 39, and Police Major Prakrom Warunprapa, 44, an inspector from the Technology Crime Suppression Division.
They are being held at a temporary detention facility at the 11th Military Circle on Bangkok’s Nakhon Chaisri Road.
Meanwhile, a security guard at Suriyan’s luxury condominium has claimed that police and officials began confiscating the fortune-teller’s assets last week.
On the morning of October 15, many police and military officers arrived at Paholyothin Park Condominium in Chatuchak district and seized several of Suriyan’s assets, including a sports utility vehicle, Buddha statues and other items, the guard said yesterday. 
The guard, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the officers came in more than 20 vehicles. 
“I was shocked to hear that ‘Mor Yong’ was arrested for lese majeste,” the guard said, referring to the fortune-teller by his better known pseudonym. 
The three suspects are charged with wrongly citing the monarchy to make personal gains, in violation of Article 112 of the Penal Code. Police said the three have confessed to the charge. 
On Thursday, police searched Prakrom’s unit at the luxury La Maison condominium, and later confiscated several items, including a Mercedes Benz sedan, a Volkswagen van and several motorcycles.
Police are examining the confiscated assets, which includes cash, cars, amulets, firearms, gold and watches, to see where they came from and if they may have anything to do with the suspects’ wrongdoing, a source familiar with the case said. 
The seized assets are being kept under tight security at the 11th Infantry Regiment, the source added.
On Wednesday, the Military Court approved a police request to detain the three for a longer period, as investigators are still working on the case. 
Separately, 13 police have been transferred to inactive posts, as inquiries are underway to determine whether they are also involved in the lese majeste case. 

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