BANGKOK -- Thai authorities arrested three influencers Thursday for allegedly mocking a member of the royal family in online promotional videos.
Convictions could mean up to 15 years in prison under the country's strict lese-majeste regime.
The trio appeared in online ads posted by e-commerce platform Lazada in May to promote a sales event. One of the influencers was shown in a wheelchair, wearing traditional Thai dress.
To supporters of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, this was a veiled reference to the king's younger sister, who uses a wheelchair. Lazada, a subsidiary of Alibaba Group Holding, later took down the offending content and apologized.
Thailand's lese-majeste legislation prescribes punishment for those who defame, insult or threaten the royals. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha called the video unacceptable, and the army ordered personnel not to buy from Lazada.
The government is gathering potential indictment evidence. An activist has filed a complaint with police as well.