The Thai palace has fired an adviser for being “extremely evil”, signalling that more action could take place over the coming days. Police General Jumpol Manmai was the second aide to King Maha Vajiralongkorn to be removed from duty in recent weeks.
Jumpol had served as an intelligence chief under former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and had been one of the top figures frequently seen at the palace.
“He has wrongly used his official position for personal gain. He had political interests which were detrimental to national security and not trusted by the king,” said a statement released by the Thai palace and duly signed by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former junta ruler.
“General Jumpol committed inappropriate behaviour as a senior official close to the King. He abused his position to gain personal and political benefits which jeopardises security,” read the palace order without revealing the specifics of the matter.
In recent years, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who formally took over after the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a widely revered figure with a demigod status, has been instrumental in firing several people, including senior members, from the inner circle of the palace.
He has also been successful in making changes to the constitution, thanks to the junta-ruled government, since he ascended the throne in December 2016.
The fate of Jumpol, the palace’s Grand Chamberlain, is still not clear whether he would face prosecution. The Thai police have also not commented on the development yet.
Under the law protecting the Thai monarchy, anyone who insults or is being critical of the royals could face up to 15 years of prison. News organisations are also highly cautious so as not to be axed by the monarchy.