THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET
THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


More MPs face land scrutiny as activist points finger at all major parties

More MPs face land scrutiny as activist points finger at all major parties

BANGKOK: Environmental police will look into a fresh complaint against 21 MPs, five senators and four officials over public forest encroachment.

corruptionagriculturepoliticsenvironment
By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 11 December 2019, 08:54AM


MP Pareena Kraikupt under investigation (Bangkok Post file photo)

MP Pareena Kraikupt under investigation (Bangkok Post file photo)

The investigation follows a complaint lodged yesterday with the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division by Atchariya Ruangrattanaphong, chairman of the Help Crime Victims Club.

"These politicians and senior authorities may have illegally acquired the land in the same way Palang Pracharath MP Pareena Kraikupt did. The MPs are members of both government and opposition parties," Mr Atchariya told the media yesterday (Dec 9).

They include MPs attached to the Palang Pracharath, Democrat, Bhumjaithai, Pheu Thai and Future Forward parties.

Among the five senators is a former member of the now-dissolved National Reform Council (NRC), while another four are high-ranking officials.

One MP, a political party heavyweight in the government camp, has 120 rai of so-called Por Bor Tor 5 land in Prachuap Khiri Khan, but it is not clear whether he acquired the plots legally, according to Mr Atchariya.

Ms Pareena earlier officially declared assets with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) which included 1,700 rai of land in Ratchaburi province.

The plots, according to Ms Pareena, have Por Bor Tor 5 state land status and she paid the appropriate taxes in exchange for the right to use them.

However, the MP has been accused of illegally acquiring 682 rai of Sor Por Kor land and encroaching on 46 rai of state forest in Ratchaburi.

The Agricultural Land Reform Office (Alro) yesterday rejected Ms Pareena Kraikupt's letter of intent to return the Sor Por Kor land.

Ms Pareena had submitted the letter to deputy agricultural minister Capt Thamanat Prompow.

Capt Thamanat told media that her letter is not acceptable.

"Her letter of intent contains a clause that might lead to legal conflict in the future. We have asked her to submit a new letter within seven days. We don't want any further legal problems," Capt Thamanat said during a visit to Ms Pareena's chicken farm in Ratchaburi's Chom Bueng district.

In the letter, Ms Pareena stated that she would like to preserve her right to continue her chicken farm business on the office's land when Alro redistributes the land back to farmers, according to Capt Thamanat.

Thanyapura Health 360

"Her request is against the office's land allocation regulations as she is not a poor farmer," he said.

According to her asset declaration, Ms Pareena's net worth is 163 million baht.

Regarding the legal action against her, he admitted there is an "overlap" issue between the Royal Forest Department under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and Alro, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.

The public forest land which Ms Pareena has occupied was once under the jurisdiction of the RFD before later being transferred to Alro in 2014.

Capt Thamanat said he would ask both offices to form a joint committee to come up with a clear policy over which has the authority to take legal action that can be applied to similar cases that may arise countrywide.

The need arises as there has been no clear precedent established, he said.

In some previous cases, the Supreme Court had handed down verdicts that the land is still under forest law, said Capt Thamanat.

However, the Office of the Council of State has come to a different conclusion in other cases and found that the land is under Alro because that is the department the transfers were handled by.

The Department of Royal Forest's legal team yesterday had a meeting to discuss whether to file further legal action against Ms Pareena over the 682-rai plot which later had been transferred to Alro during the period her farms were operating on the plot.

The RFD has already charged Ms Pareena with encroaching on 46 rai of public forest. If found guilty, she faces a jail term of up to 20 years.

Nantaya Boonyanan, the department's spokeswoman, said that the meeting agreed to ask the Office of the Council of State to verify whether the department was authorised to take legal action against Ms Pareena over the plot.

"We want to make sure that we have the authority to do so. If not, we might be held accountable for overstepping our authority," she said.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Rawai Mayor asks Phuket Governor permission to close Nai Harn Beach

What exactly would be achieved by closing beaches during the day time when UV levels are super-high ...(Read More)


Seven more COVID-19 cases in Phuket, including police officer: official total hits 41

Good to see Insp K has added another string to his bow- now he's a virologist!!...(Read More)


Thai Airways prepares to ground fleet

Hope for Thai Airways that technical management now able to cut the staff 'water head' comin...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: The Last Stand

People are wearing masks in Asia and it's working. The Thai gov is providing a 4 pack for 1...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: The Last Stand

Even if high temperature and high humidity both are good factors in against the Corona virus I'm...(Read More)


Rawai Mayor asks Phuket Governor permission to close Nai Harn Beach

So how can people who have no interest of the sandy beach or gather together with anyone but simply ...(Read More)


52 hotels in Phuket announce plans to close: THA President

How many hotels are registered legally in Phuket, anyone now that’s. ...(Read More)


Russian arrested in Phuket for overstay, working as illegal taxi driver

Well well this place a live in Chalong u have some Russians rent many houses, and they us Russians p...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: The Last Stand

It's heating and A/C that make lungs susceptible to pathogens, not the outside temperature. ...(Read More)