A 45-YEAR-OLD woman belonging to the red-shirt movement, who is believed to have spread false rumours about Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha through social media, was apprehended yesterday in Pathum Thani and detained under Article 44 of the provisional c
Police believed there were more people involved in circulating the false allegation that Prayut and his wife Naraporn transferred Bt10 billion to Singapore.
Police have resorted to Article 44 to deal with the suspect, as the false rumour negatively affected the country’s leader and national security, causing the public to panic and become confused.
Article 44 allows the National Council for Peace and Order to enforce martial law, the emergency decree and the Internal Security Act to tackle security and political troubles to ensure maximum efficiency in enforcing the military government’s authority.
Police believed she was the first person to send the message and she was linked with people who posted online comments about counter-coup rumours and those who staged bomb attacks.
Police identified Manoon Chaichana, or Anek Sanfran, a suspect charged with lese majesty, terrorism and other offences, as the mastermind. He has been hiding abroad.
Crime Suppression Division commander Pol Maj-General Siripong Timula said the woman had been detained at an undisclosed place, pending interrogation. An arrest warrant would be issued later.
National police chief Somyot Poompanmuang said police would strictly take legal action against everyone who posted messages deemed a threat to national security.
He said the messages were sent from local and overseas sources.
He said the source of messages sent domestically were easier to detect. Messages sent from foreign countries were harder to trace because they could be sent to Thailand through several channels.
“Arresting people who post such information is not attacking the problem at the root. We will not be lenient on anyone found posting such information,’’ he said.