A week ago, Khaosod reported that”[f]ormer Grand Chamberlain Jumpol Manmai confessed Thursday to building a luxury mansion on public land and declined to post his own bail…”.
It stated that Pol Gen. Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said “Jumpol will be held at Nakhon Ratchasima’s provincial prison while cases are prepared against him. Srivara said the provincial prison may later transfer him to another jail in the Thawi Watthana district of western Bangkok.”
The story includes a photo of Jumpol with senior police. His presumably handcuffed hands are covered and a doctor is present, assuring the media that Jumpol was “in good health.” This was important as Jumpol has disappeared from view for about two weeks, held in an unknown location.
A second Khaosod report reveals that the “trial” of Jumpol is over, taking just four hours, and he’s been given a 6-year prison sentence (halved for a guilty plea) and a fine of 890,000 baht.
These hasty “proceedings” have been seen in other cases that have involved those who have fallen out with the king.
Jumpol, stripped of his police rank sand royal decorations, was convicted of forest encroachment for a mansion he built in or near Thap Lan National Park in Nakorn Ratchasima province.
Given that other higher-ups had committed similar offences and never been charged, including two privy councilors, it is clear that Jumpol offended King Vajiralongkorn, with who he had previously had a close relationship.
We are amazed that Jumpol has not been hit with lese majeste charges, which have been one of the prince-cum-king’s weapons of choice in dealing with those he’d found tiresome or had fallen out with.
The report states that Jumpol had “been held at a special prison in eastern Bangkok. We assume this is the same jail mentioned in the earlier report. It is known that this prison is “special” because it belongs to the king and was constructed inside one of his residences, in the Phutthamonthon area.
Jumpol was immediately taken off to prison. Which prison is not stated in the report, which is unusual. This may mean that he will be confined again in the king’s personal prison. We can only imagine that such a prospect may be daunting for the former police general.