Fake Thai palace announcement 'came from overseas'

Fake Thai palace announcement 'came from overseas'
A picture of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit

Police said yesterday a "certain" announcement claiming to have been issued by the Royal Household Bureau, which quickly spread on social media on Monday evening, was believed to have come from a source outside Thailand.

Police spokesperson Pol Lt-Gen Prawut Thavornsiri said related agencies were meeting to try to also find out the motive behind the incident.

The fake document stoked alarm and misunderstanding, while Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday condemned those behind it and ordered the authorities to quickly bring the culprit to justice. However, he admitted it would take a while before the person behind the rumour could be traced.

"I think the person has a bad heart. It's not okay and I don't think all Thais can accept this. Don't just believe everything. When I heard about it [on Monday night], I issued an order for related agencies to have it confirmed [as being false] and to issue a counter statement as [the false announcement] could cause problems," he said.

Deputy government spokesman Maj-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the person behind the false announcement had ill intentions towards Thai society. He urged the media to be more cautious in disseminating such sensitive news as one prominent Thai-language news website unwittingly thought the announcement was genuine and reported it online.

He said the fake report affected all Thais and thanked people for responding quickly. He hoped such incidents would not reoccur.

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