Web influencers in controversial Lazada clip arrested on lèse majesté charges
Three people, who featured in a Lazada sales campaign clip posted on TikTok in May were arrested on lèse majesté charges, before being released on bail, according to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR).
The three have been identified as Aniwat Prathumthin, aka “Nara Crepe Katoey”, Thidaporn Chaokuwiang, aka “Nurat”, and Kittikhun Thamkittirath, aka “Mom Dew”.
The three were arrested separately by Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) officers today (Thursday). Thidaporn was arrested in the central province of Ayutthaya, Aniwat was arrested at Don Muaeng airport, while Kittikhun was arrested at a house in Bangkok’s Wang Thong Lang district.
All were escorted to the complaint centre at the Central Investigation Bureau. In addition to lèse majesté, Aniwat faces a charge of violating the Computer Crime Act.
Upon being released on bail of 90,000 baht each, the Criminal Court set out the conditions that they would not repeat the offence and that they report themselves every 30 days.
The controversial Lazada clothes shopping clip features Thidaporn in traditional Thai costume and sitting in a wheelchair, while Aniwat was seen accusing Thidaporn, who plays her aristocratic mother, of stealing her clothes.
The video came under heavy criticism for alleged bullying of disabled people, but some royalists felt that it mocked a member of Thailand’s royal family who was in a wheelchair. It led to a hashtag campaign on Thai Twitter to boycott Lazada, prompting the giant online shopping platform to issue an apology.
Intersect Design Factory, the company which hired the influencers to promote the Lazada sales campaign, also posted an apology on its Facebook page.
Political activist Srisuwan Janya later lodged a complaint with the TCSD accusing Aniwat of offending a member of the royal family.