In its complaint, the department said the family has been receiving benefits from an illegally established commercial eucalyptus plantation in the province for over 30 years.
The department’s chief, Adisorn Nuchdamrong, yesterday (Feb 4) filed the complaint with the Natural Resources and Environmental Crimes Division along with evidence to back the allegation.
The complaint recommended six charges relating to forest encroachment be filed against Mr Thanathorn and his family, as outlined by 1964 National Reserved Forest Act, the 1941 Forest Act and the 1947 Land Act.
This wasn’t the first forest encroachment charges filed against the Progressive Movement founder’s family - in December last year, the department filed charges against Somporn Juangroongruangkit, Mr Thanathorn’s mother, over her ownership of at least 77 land plots in Ratchaburi which it said encroached on forest reserves.
A further investigation found that Mr Thanathorn, along with his sister Chanapan, the vice president of Thai Summit Group, occupied the land to plant eucalyptus trees.
Mr Adisorn said Mr Thanathorn and his family acknowledged in the sale agreement that the land plots they purchased is inside a national forest reserve, and that their right to the land can be withdrawn at any time.
“This shows a clear intention to illegally occupy and possess the land, which is solid evidence to launch legal proceedings against them,” he said.
Meanwhile, Cheewapap Cheewatham, chief of the Payak Prai forest protection operation, said his team found the eucalyptus trees on the plots owned by Mr Thanathorn are more than 30 years old, which means the family has benefited from the illegal plantation for at least the same period.