Tourist Police Chief Pol Maj Gen Surachate Hakparn told a press briefing yesterday that the Royal Thai Police’s Technology Crime Suppression Division had obtained on Wednesday an arrest warrant for Heng Ratanak, 21, of Cambodian nationality.
Heng Ratanak was accused of importing into computer systems false information that may undermine national security or cause panic among the public under the computer crime law. If convicted, he will face a jail term up to five years and/or a fine not exceeding B100,000.
Heng Ratanak reportedly runs the Thai-language news-gossip site ratstas.com, where the clickbait-style article has remained online.
The police yesterday also summoned six Thais who allegedly shared the article. They are Thanavat Onwan, Roongroj Preecha, Prapasorn Sa-ubon, Jitapa Boontawee, Prapassorn Wanchuchit and Ratanon Chachana.
The six suspects faced the charge of knowingly propagating or forwarding false digital information that may damage national or economic security, or cause panic among the people.
They all confessed to sharing the article but claimed they had no ill intention.
Heng Ratanak, whose address is a printing and bitcoin office in Cambodia, is believed to be computer-savvy and to maintain anti-establishment views. His website frequently publishes false news, police said.
According to a Matichon Online report, Gen Surachet earlier coordinated with Cambodian authorities and Heng Ratanak was arrested after Thai authorities lodged a formal complaint on May 25.
The Thai investigators led by Gen Surachate are to go to Cambodia today to confirm his identity. If positive, they will proceed with extradition.