DSI Deputy Chief Pol Lt-Colonel Kornwat Panprapakorn assigned Special Case Inquiry officer Pattarapol Jewnongpo and Jedtana Hemmun, Director Intelligence and Crime Information Analysis Division at the Bureau of Technology and Information Inspection Center, to investigate the attempted land grab following a request by Thalang Technical College Director Kochakorn Butsaraporn and Deputy Director Kanchana Tantharawatphan.
The DSI team were in Phuket to inspect the site on Monday (Sept 14).
The Royal Forest Department granted permission to use the land – 142 Rai 1 Ngan 47 talang wah within the boundaries of the Suan Pa Bang Kanun protected forest area – to establish the Phuket Technical College through a Cabinet Resolution in 1997, Ms Kanchana explained.
The land in question today was later designated to establish Thalang Technical College, she said.
Only about 40 rai of the land granted is currently occupied by the college. The remaining 100 rai was left for future expansion, Mr Jedtana said.
However, someone has now sectioned off the remaining 100 rai by installing cement posts as a boundary in an attempt to claim it, he said.
Mr Jedtana described the 100 rai as fertile forest area. “There are large trees spread over there. Also, there is an area of upstream forest can with clear views of the surrounding landscape,” he said.
However, he added that the land is on a slope that exceeds 35%, which technically makes building on the land illegal.
“We are now examining and checking for any land claim documents related to this site to find out who is involved in this. I believe that a land use document would have been filed for this site that is not in accordance with the law and regulations,” Mr Jedtana said.
“Also, I think the processes involved in doing this are complex, and illegal as it encroaches on the Suan Pa Bang Kanun forest area,” he added.
“All relevant information will be collected and submitted to the Director-General of the DSI to consider for further action,” Mr Jedtana said.