A former Thai police general – one of the new king's most senior aides – who was sacked for gross misconduct was taken to a police station on Thursday (2 March) to face a charge of building a private property on a public land.
Although, Jumpol Manmai was stripped off his power for gross misconduct – what the palace official said was "extremely evil" and threat to national security – but he does not face charges related to those accusations. He would face charges for building on protected forest land in the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima.
Along with Jumpol, four others would also face charges as they are accused of being involved in the illegal capture.
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 arrived at the Crime Suppression Division with his head shaved as it is a ritual humiliation for those who face removal from the palace.
The removal of the ex-official is one among the several dismissals of officials from the palace under the new King Maha Vajiralongkorn's rule.
King Vajiralongkorn who formally took over the throne after the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej – a widely revered figure with a demigod status – has been active in firing several people, including senior members, from the inner circle of the palace.
The new monarch is also notorious for making changes to the constitution since he ascended the throne in December 2016.
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.
However, the fate of Jumpol is still remains unknown.