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Government urged to cut ties with Italian-Thai over poaching case

Government urged to cut ties with Italian-Thai over poaching case

BANGKOK: The government has been urged to severe business relations with Italian-Thai Development Plc (ITD) due to the involvement of its president on the wildlife poaching case.

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By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 15 May 2018, 05:57PM


Thachpong Kaedum, a member of the T’Challa group, burns a piece of paper bearing the name of the Italian-Thai Development president, Premchai, in protest against his alleged poaching of a black leopard and other wild animals, at Government House’s complaint centre today (May 15). Photo: Post Today

Thachpong Kaedum, a member of the T’Challa group, burns a piece of paper bearing the name of the Italian-Thai Development president, Premchai, in protest against his alleged poaching of a black leopard and other wild animals, at Government House’s complaint centre today (May 15). Photo: Post Today

Members of T’Challa, a pressure group set up to follow up on the case, today (May 15) petitioned Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at Government House's complaint centre. It demanded state agencies hiring the listed company to suspend all projects and put it on a blacklist until the case is over.

The move came to mark the 100th day of the case going back to Feb 4, when ITD president Premchai Karnasuta and three other accomplices were arrested in the Thungyai Naresuan sanctuary in Thong Pha Phum district, Kanchanaburi.

Found at the scene were the carcasses of wild animals including a black leopard, a Kalij pheasant and a barking deer, as well as guns and ammunition.

Premchai has repeatedly denied killing the animals.

He was indicted last month on six charges – carrying firearms in public without permission, colluding to hunt wildlife in a wildlife sanctuary without permission, hunting protected wildlife without permission, possessing protected wildlife carcasses without permission, concealing wildlife carcasses obtained illegally, and collecting wildlife items in a national forest reserve without permission.

Yong Dodkhruea, Nathee Riamsaen and Thanee Thummat – the other suspects – were also indicted on several accounts relating to the alleged poaching.

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The case is at the Thong Pha Phum Provincial Court in Kanchanaburi.

The ITD president, his wife, Khanitta, and an associate were also charged with possessing illegal African elephant tusks at the Criminal Court in Bangkok. The three pleaded not guilty.

The T’Challa group was named after a monarch in the blockbuster Black Panther film.

The prime minister rejected the demand from the activists, saying the case should be left for the court to decide. The legal procedure should not be linked with business contracts of the company, he added.

Read original story here.

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