Woman arrested for pretending to be a royal
Police yesterday arrested a 27-year-old Bangkokian who allegedly claimed to be MR Mannarumas Yukol and sought money in exchange for giving others a chance to attend the Abhidhamma prayer for His Majesty King Bhumibold Adulyadej at the Grand Palace on Tuesday night.
At the police press conference yesterday, Charan Sanitwong resident Anothayapat Sitthirapol admitted that she signed in as MR Mannarumas so she could lead others into the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall. She admitted to having done this three times – on October 27, November 22 and November 23 – and duped 17 people into giving her over Bt100,000 before being arrested.
Anothayapat, who sells goods online and has no ties with the Palace, said she got the idea after sneaking into the throne hall behind people with royal lineage without getting caught. She said most of the victims were her own friends. She also apologised for her actions and urged people to not follow her example.
The woman allegedly collected Bt5,500 as transport fees from people by claiming she could help them get close to the royal event without having to queue up and also took additional money from them for allegedly reserving commemorative coins at Bt3,500 per set.
On Wednesday night, Anothayapat escorted a group of people into a tent reserved for people with royal lineage, but they were all shown the exit after she was unable to answer a query put forward by officials from the Royal Household Bureau, a source said.
After a complaint was filed by the actual MR Mannarumas on Wednesday, some of the victims stepped forward to identify Anothayapat, which resulted in an arrest warrant being issued and her getting captured the following day. More people filed complaints against Anothayapat later.
The source also said that eight other individuals, including some senior civil servants, were found to have made similar claims of being able to cut queues to pay respects to the late monarch.