Thai police arrest suspected ringleader of anti-monarchy network

Thai police say they have arrested a man accused of being the mastermind of a conspiracy to slander the country's monarchy on the Internet.

Police Maj. Gen. Siripong Timula said Wednesday that Hassadin Uraipraiwan will face lese majeste charges, a crime of defaming the monarchy, for having allegedly released audio clips that contained anti-monarchy content.

Hassadin was arrested Monday.

Police say his so-called Banpodj Network is currently the country's largest and most active anti-monarchy group.

Police have already arrested six suspects accused of being part of the group.

The military junta that seized power in a coup last May has made protecting the monarchy's reputation one of its priorities.

The prospect that instability will ensue when 87-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej ends his long reign is a matter of widespread concern.