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Four arrested as Phuket officials clamp down on illegal land excavation

Four arrested as Phuket officials clamp down on illegal land excavation

PHUKET: Four suspects have been arrested in Phuket in connection with illegal land excavation in tambon Chern Talay, the Phuket office of the Department of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket) announced this Friday (Nov 11).

By The Phuket News

Saturday 12 November 2022, 01:12PM

“Phuket province [the provincial government] has seriously ordered all agencies to integrate their efforts in suppression of illegal excavation of soil,” PR Phuket said in a Facebook post announcing the arrest of four suspects. 

The arrests were conducted on an undisclosed day “in the area of Kamala Mountains National Forest Reserve in Cherng Talay” by a team of officials led by Thalang District Chief Bancha Thanu-in. 

Other agencies involved included the Phuket office of the Ministry of  Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE); the regional branch of the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc); Cherng Talay Police; the regional office of the Royal Forestry Department; Cherng Talay Tambon Administration Organisation (OrBorTor); the Phuket Provincial Defense Office.

Acting under directions of Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew and Vice Governor Anuphap Rodkwan Yodrabam, the officials arrested four suspects named in the report as Mr Supachok, Mr Wichai, Mr Narongsak, and Ms Kritiya (family names withheld).

The raiding party also seized two backhoes, five 10-wheeled trucks and one pickup truck. 

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The suspects were arrested on charges of clearing the forest and excavating land illegally in violation of the National Forest Reserves Act (1964) and an unspecified order by the Phuket office of the MNRE. All four were taken to Cherng Talay Police Station for procession. 

PR Phuket added that the investigation started after a complaint had been received by the local branch of ISOC from Cherng Talay residents who had informed the political arm of the Thai military about an alleged illegal excavation in the national forest reserve. 

According to the preliminary investigation, the soil from the forest was used to “fill a rice field behind Pasak Shrine”. 

“The Governor of Phuket has instructed all agencies to integrate their work on the suppression of illegal land digging in order to prevent soil slides and floodings in Phuket area,” PR Phuket added.

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Fascinated | 13 November 2022 - 10:08:05

Local officials turn a blind eye and an open ocket when these obvious operations aretaking place- it takes the army to get involved before action is taken- maybe they should bring down a couple of tanks and roll over all the tuk tuks!

JohnC | 13 November 2022 - 10:00:24

How about also arresting those who are behind this illegal operation. Not just the poor suckers actually slaving in the dirt. Be very interesting to find out who is behind this and what senior positions they hold.

Kurt | 13 November 2022 - 07:55:17

Were there really no Residents calling MNRE or PLTO, reporting/asking about this in a very early(!) stage while backhoes, trucks, workers were moving in in a National Forest Reserve? Hope Residents who reported this come forward with their stories.

Kurt | 13 November 2022 - 07:39:15

Four arrest only? All this can't happening without knowledge of Phuket Officialdom. Totally 8 vehicles confiscated, that is another 7-8 persons. Must have been well known among all mentioned Officials, now show staring at photo's. People of MNRE and PLTO. Hello ???  Corruption?


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