This time officials are serious, said Paween Kumar, Director of the Phuket Legal Execution Office, which served the eviction notices yesterday (Sept 12).
Present to support the action were Phuket Vice Governor Anupap Rodkwan Yodrabam, Phuket Land Office Chief Wisit Chokchai and Manoch Punchalad, President of the Cherng Talay Tambon Administration Organisation (OrBorTor).
The legal channels of appeal had been exhausted. The courts have ruled that the land is state property, Mr Paeen said.
The eviction notices were posted at four locations.
“The demolition is scheduled to be completed by Sept 30 or on the next business day,” Mr Paween said.
“The buildings must go. If no action is taken, the executing officer will proceed with decisive action in accordance with the law,” he added.
“Previous eviction notices had been served, giving people the right to appeal within 15 days,” Mr Paween said.
“This has been going on since 2018, and has been fought through the courts until the very end,” he said.
“In addition, there have been complaints about such encroachment, including the lack of expediting action by relevant agencies. So far there has been no action against people who have buildings on state land,” Mr Paween noted.
“Therefore, a meeting of relevant agencies in the area was called, and it was concluded that the intruders would be given the opportunity to demolish the buildings within 15 days. There are no more chances to fight the case. If the deadline arrives and the buildings have not yet been demolished, the relevant departments will come to demolish them all,” he assured.
Vice Governor Anupap said that the action to serve the final eviction notices followed Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew requesting the relevant agencies to comply with the law, “which today has been executed”, he said.
The land in question in total covers 178 rai along three kilometres of unspoilt beachfront, altogether estimated to be worth more than B10 billion.
The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) originally served eviction notices in 2017 after the Supreme Court ruled that the occupiers were illegally encroaching on state land.
The final remaining squatters who refused to move, including the well-known Tony’s Restaurant at Layan Beach, were last issued a final seven-days’ eviction notice in June last year, served by former Cherng Talay OrBorTor MaAnn Samran.
However, by the end of July still no action against the squatters had been taken.
No action was taken against the squatters for the duration of Mr MaAnn’s time in office.
He was voted out in local elections in December last year.