Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Crown prince strips wife's kin of royal name

Published:Monday | December 1, 2014 | 12:00 AM
In this August 31, 2007 file photo, Thailand's Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn (right) chats with his royal consort, Princess Srirasm, as they watch a parade at the historic Merdeka square in downtown Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. - AP

BANGKOK (AP):

Thailand's Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn has asked the government to strip his wife's family of their royally issued surname, the latest development in a high-profile crackdown that involves senior members of the police force.

The move came after at least three relatives of the crown prince's wife, Princess Srirasm, were arrested last week as part of the corruption probe.

The probe has attracted national attention in Thailand, where the private lives of the royal family are kept discrete. But many questions remain unanswered, primarily because of strict lese majeste laws that carry a penalty of up to 15 years in prison for insulting the monarchy.

In a letter dated Friday, but released over the weekend, the crown prince ordered the "cancellation of the royally bestowed family name 'Akrapongpreecha'", which was issued after the pair married in 2001. The brief letter, which was sent to the Interior Ministry, gave no explanation for the action.

National police spokesman Leiutenant General Prawut Thavornsiri confirmed the letter's authenticity.

Srirasm is the crown prince's third wife and was last seen in public a week ago at a royal ceremony alongside her husband. They have a nine-year-old son, who is a presumed heir to the throne.