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Official detained after spreading rumour of planned coup to oust PM

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Facebook/Prayut Chan-o-cha

Following a rumour that a military coup to remove PM Prayut Chan-o-cha from office was in the works, a state official has been detained, accused of spreading fake news. The Bangkok Post reports that deputy police spokesman Kissana Phathanacharoen has confirmed that a man has been detained for questioning in the central province of Chachoengsao, where he has admitted to spreading the rumour online. It’s understood the man was detained following a request from the army to prosecute anyone spreading fake news.

The Bangkok Post reports that army chief Narongphan Jitkaewtae appointed Burin Thongprapai from the miltary’s Office of the Judge Advocate to file a complaint with the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau. According to Kissana, the rumour has led to public confusion and had a negative effect on the army’s reputation.

The government recently announced a tough clampdown on anyone spreading fake news, which it says could cause panic or misunderstanding, as well as threatening national security and public order.

At this time, the identity of the detained official has not been revealed. It’s understood the police have questioned the man and he has admitted to spreading fake news but has not yet been charged. The investigation is continuing.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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