Marine and Coastal Resources officials concluded their analysis of the damaged coral yesterday (Mar 17) and confirmed they will be sharing their findings with Chalong police who will include the information in their final report before submitting to Phuket Provincial court on Friday (Mar 20).
“We discovered the damaged coral to measure approximately one square metre which equates to about B20,000 in costs,” commented Somnuek Boonyai, Chief of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) Region 6 office of the Preservation of Marine Life Section.
“However, there may well be additional costs for recovering the coral which I am waiting for from relevant officials and hope to receive later today (Mar 18),” he added.
“In total, the fine will be more than B100,000 in accordance with the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act 2019 although other costs may be added and the final decision on the amount of the fine will be determined by the judge in court,” Mr Somnuek confirmed.
“Honestly, I do not want to make it a difficult situation because Mr Girard is relatively old and, with everything I do, I am mindful of his health.”
On March 8, Mr Girard was taken to Chalong Police Station and faced two charges, Mr Somnuek confirmed.
“One charge is a breach of a regulation introduced by the DMCR under Section 17 of the Act on the Promotion of Marine and Coastal Resources Management B.E. 2558 (2015), which can incur a penalty of up to one year in prison or a fine of up to B100,000, or both.
“The second charge is for breach of Section 12 of the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act 2019, which can incur a penalty of up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to B1 million, or both.” (See original story here).
Mr Somnuek concluded by requesting people be mindful and cooperative in efforts to protect the environment.