Samut Prakan resident Kamontasana Thonthornkositjira, 62, is also being probed for alleged violation of the lese majeste law.
Her arrest stemmed from complaints made by some of Kamontasana’s alleged victims to police who were probing Monta. It was alleged that Kamontasana’s behaviour was similar to Monta and she might in fact be fraud convict Kim-eng Saetiew, Monta’s half sister (with the same father but a different mother).
The half-sisters reportedly do not get along, as Monta was a key witness in a 1987 case in which Kim-eng was accused of wearing a royal decoration to a party at Government House without authorisation.
Central Investigation Bureau chief Pol Maj-General Thitirat Nongharnphithak said Kim-eng was sentenced to six years’ jail by the Ayutthaya Provincial Court for duping people who made donations in the belief they would receive royal decorations.
After her release from prison, she changed her first and last names many times, he said.
He said Kamontasana’s latest arrest came after she allegedly claimed that she had ties to the palace and had invoked the royal institution when hosting charity events where people donated money.
In the police report used to have her detained via a court order, it was alleged that between August 2010 and August 2012 a printing company executive wired her a total of Bt2.97 million in the hope of getting a royal decoration.
The company executive’s complaint led to the Criminal Court issuing an arrest warrant for her on August 11. She was arrested on Friday.
Following Kamontasana’s arrest, police searched her Lat Phrao apartment in Bangkok where a number of valuable items were found including what appears to be commemorative coins for an auspicious royal occasion, which police would check to determine if they are authentic, CIB deputy chief Sommai Kongwisaisuk said.
He said police would also probe a person who claimed to work for the Bureau of the Royal Household when presenting flowers to Kamontasana at the supposed charity events.
Sommai said she confessed to the crime of fraud and forgery and police would also probe her for a charge of violating Article 112 (lese majeste) of the Criminal Code. He said police would soon target her alleged accomplices. Police brought Kamontasana to Bangkok’s Ratchadapisek Court yesterday to successfully apply to have her detained until September 7, pending police interviews of eight witnesses and fingerprint test results.
Police objected to her being released on bail, saying she was a risk of fleeing. She was sent to the Central Women’s Correctional Institution, where Monta is also being held.