The validity of the company’s claim to 24 rai on the island is under investigation following a complaint filed by Mr Puri in December amid allegations that the land is stolen protected forest land that had been sold for B42 million. (See story here.)
Mr Puri, however, is also facing legal action for posting on social media claims that armed men had brought machinery onto the island to clear forest. (See story here.)
Lt Sompop Kamkhana from the of the Royal Thai Navy’s Third Area Command in Phuket told The Phuket News, “This case will formally be presented to the DSI on June 10.”
“This morning, we saw some workers still planting palm trees in the area claimed by Six Mountain Co Ltd,” he added.
Col Pong-In’s inspection of Naka Noi Island follows his presence at a press conference yesterday (june 1) where it was announced that four Thai nationals had been sentenced jail terms for illegally obtaining land documents in order to claim plots within Sirinath National Park or other protected forest areas nearby. (See story here.)
Col Pong-In’s visit also follows confirmation by Phuket Land Office Chief Watcharin Jetanawanich that his office had concluded its investigation into the land claimed by Phukhaohokluk Co Ltd and had sent a request to the Deputy Director of the :and Department in Bangkok to revoke the NorSor 3 land document the company has presented as evidence to its claim to the land.
“However, if the order to revoke the Norsor 3 is approved, the company will have the right to file an appeal to the court within 15 days,” he said.
Mr Watcharin also confirmed to The Phuket News that officials suspected on involvement in issuing the NorSor 3 will also be investigated.
“We have already set up a committee to investigate this case, including investigating any officials involved,” he said.
“Actually, we will investigate both Phukhaohokluk Co Ltd and Puri Hiranpreuck, but we received the complaint against Phukhaohokluk Co Ltd first, so that was processed accordingly.
“Our next job is to investigate the claims against Mr Puri,” Watcharin added.
Additional reporting by Darawan Naknakhon