On February 24, Andrew MacGregor Marshall posted on facebook, “Concerns are growing in Thailand about the welfare of King Vajiralongkorn’s aide Jumpol Manmai, who has been confined to Aksa Palace for weeks by the mad monarch. Unconfirmed reports suggest he was murdered yesterday.” The concerns arose because Jumpol Manmai had suddenly dropped out of sight and his friends and family could not contact him. Jumpol Manmai had been a “Grand Chamberlain” in the King’s palace, which was a job title created specifically for him. In early February, reports that he was being investigated came out, but news agencies were warned not to report on the story until the police made a statement. His is accused of land encroachment, building a mansion in a national park in Nakhon Ratchasima Province. Khun Jumipol was formally fired on March 2, at which time Andrew and others (independently of Andrew) already believed he was dead. However, to our surprise he showed up in court on the appointed day. However, here the story takes another surprising twist. The story of Jumipol led to the discovery of a possible secret prison at the King’s palace!
On March 3, Somsak Jeamteerasukal, posted the Thai-language documents you in this article, with this explanation in English: “Let me sum up the story for the benefits of your readers who couldn’t read Thai. First of all, the credit for ‘discovering’ this, belongs to a ‘friend’, not me. On reading the news of Chumpol yesterday, s/he noticed something odd. It was reported that, after appearing in front of the judge in Khorat, Chumpol was brought back to Bangkok to be put in a ‘Provisional Prison of Bhuddha Monthol, Thavi Wattana district’. Curious (because there’s no known prison in that area), s/he searched the Government Gazett and found that in 2012 (during Yingluck’s gov), there was an announcement by the Justice Ministry (which oversees prisons throughout the country) designating an area of 120 square meters in the Thavi Wattana district to be a ‘Provisional Prison of Bhuddha Monthol’. (It’s about the size of a townhouse, which could have more than one floor and the 120 sq.m could cover all floors). Now neither the announcement nor the map accompanied it mentions the Thavi Wattana Palace that belongs to the Crown Prince/ King. But there’s absolutely no doubt that that ‘designated prison area’ is INSIDE his Thavi Wattana Palace. So, in Chumpol’s case, he is in fact, even after the appearance before the police and the court, still in the King’s personal custody, i.e. kept inside a prison inside his Palace.”
This is bombshell news, and I didn’t want to be led astray a second time, so our group (Thai Alliance for Human Rights) translated the documents that Somsak Jeamteerasukal had posted, and I used Google satellite maps to find the location on the map drawn. Google does put the marker for that palace in the lower righthand corner of this square on the map. However a much bigger area looks like palace grounds and interestingly you can see two planes parked outside. The marker on the map does not fall directly on top of any building, but we can already see the hand drawn map is not exact. In any case, it is clear that the prison is either on or adjacent to the palace property. Our group has also translated the documents.
The hand-drawn map at the top of the page was attached. I myself translated the map (and so it may have errors because it was just my worksheet) and compared it to the satellite picture on Google. Google maps has the marker to the palace in the lower right-hand corner of the squarish shape on the hand-drawn map, which approximately corresponds to the satellite picture. However, it seems like the grounds of the palace are bigger. Interestingly there are two planes parked on these grounds. The King is famously into planes and is a pilot. Some people commented that the planes may be classic planes. I also independently found a reference in an Kaosod English article saying that Jumpol Manmai “Jumpol will be held at Nakhon Ratchasima’s provincial prison while cases are prepared against him. Srivara said the provincial prison may later transfer him to another jail in the Thawi Watthana district of western Bangkok.”
You can check it out yourself if you are outside Thailand. Interestingly, the link misdirects if you are inside Thailand. You can check it out on Google Maps here: https://www.google.co.uk/…/@13.7812271,100.34…/data=!3m1!1e3
Once again I will state that we have been told that ex-Princess Srirasmi (the King’s third ex-wife) and her jailed relatives who were jailed for lese majesty are not at the homes or prisons where they are said to be. We also feared they could be dead. Maybe they are still alive in a secret prison. The Thai Alliance for Human Rights would like to know who all is in the Provisional Prison on or adjacent to the King’s property.