SATURDAY, March 02, 2024

Police to seek arrest warrants for Thaluwang activists after failure to meet summons

Police to seek arrest warrants for Thaluwang activists after failure to meet summons

Police say they have gathered up to 90% of the evidence required to seek an arrest warrant for the two activists who chased after a royal motorcade early this month.

Pol Maj-General Attaporn Wongsiripreeda, commander of Metropolitan Police Division 1, said investigators in charge of the case met on Monday and resolved to go ahead with seeking arrest warrants.

This decision was made after the two Thaluwang members – Tantawan Tuatulanon, 22, and Natthanon Chaiyamahabut – responded to police summons on Monday by sending their lawyer on their behalf.

On February 4, a car driven by Natthanon with Tantawan as the front-seat passenger was stopped by police after honking ceaselessly and then trying to join the motorcade of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

The two activists were summoned to meet investigators on Monday, but they sent their lawyer to postpone the meeting to February 20 because they have classes.

Attaporn said investigators considered the claim that the two are busy studying unreasonable, so the team will go ahead to seek arrest warrants for them.

“I believe we can apply for the arrest warrants within a couple of days,” Attaporn said.

He added that the investigators had also considered whether the activists were being influenced by someone else.

On Monday, Royal Thai Police chief Pol General Torsak Sukivimol said police believe there is a conspiracy behind the two activists.

He noted that the two were seen on the clip speaking slowly to try to entice police officers to reveal details of the royal motorcade. This was seen as an attempt to use these details to further their campaign against royal motorcades.

Tantawan is a big-time campaigner for “equal rights to use the road”. She was arrested and charged with violating Article 112 of the Criminal Code or the lese majeste law in 2022 after launching an opinion survey on Facebook as to whether royal motorcades should be allowed.

However, Tantawan claimed on Monday that she did not know it was a royal motorcade and that she was simply rushing to Victory Monument to run an errand.