11 July 2024

A young member of the “Ratsadon guard”, who were a team of people initially providing security at anti-establishment rallies and who allegedly falsely claimed that he had been abducted by state officials, was sent to a military prison in Nakhon Pathom province on Saturday for 12-days, on the order of the Bangkok Military Court.

The suspect, 23-year old Mongkol “Yel” Santimethakul, claimed that he was snatched near his apartment, in Muang district of Samut Prakan province, on the night of January 16th, by 4 or 5 men, who he thought were officials from the Internal Security Operations Command.  He says he was forced into a car and was driven around before being released the next morning in Samut Prakan, as detailed in his official complaint which, accompanied by a human rights lawyer, he has filed with the police in the province.

Police investigators, however, checked the CCTV system at and around Mongkol’s apartment and discovered that he was there at the same time he claimed to have been in captivity.

Mongkol allegedly deserted from military service, before becoming a security guard of the anti-establishment Ratsadon group.  A warrant for his arrest was sought from and granted by the Bangkok Military Court.

Mongkol was apprehended on Friday in the central province of Lop Buri, where he sought refuge with some friends.  He was escorted to the Military Court in Bangkok on Saturday by Samut Prakan police, who sought his detention for 12 days pending further investigation.

No fellow guards or followers of the Ratsadon group showed up at the court this morning, nor was there a human rights lawyer present to contest his detention or bail him out.