Mr Paisarn explained that officers from the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) and the Phuket RFD officer inspected the site, in the hills overlapping the boundaries of Wichit and Chalong, last Tuesday (Mar 3).
The inspection followed Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin receiving a complaint alleging that “influential people” had have cut down trees covering 200 rai in the Khao Nakkerd National Forest.
The complaint was then handed to the DSI to investigate, Mr Paisarn explained.
The complaint alleged that several land brokers had conspired together to clear the land and build on it, then apply later to have land titles issued on the basis that the land had already been occupied for many years.
The complaint also alleged local politicians were involved, and that wood harvested from the area had been used by a local municipal office.
However, Mr Paisarn told The Phuket News, “The investigation has confirmed that the encroachers are just three local residents, no politicians were involved.
“I cannot reveal the names of those people because the information is about to be given to the police,” he said.
Mr Paisarn also said that the investigation had confirmed that wood used by Wichit Municipality is not from this part of the forest area.
“It is a different type of wood and sourced from villagers in the area,” he said.
The formal complaint for police to press charges was filed with Wichit Police on Friday (Mar 6), Mr Paisarn confirmed.
“The DSI is continuing its investigation to gather more evidence, including aerial photographs and survey maps, to be used in the case” he added.