Alro Secretary-General, Vinaroj Sapsongsuk, said that the encroachment charges may not apply to Ms Pareena because she occupied plots in land-reform zones which have not been developed and divided up for distribution to poor, landless farmers.
“As such, she may escape charges under this particular law,” he said.
In general, Alro’s laws and regulations do not deal with the issue of plot possession.
“Instead, they are designed to mete out penalties to anyone who defies Alro's orders regarding the utilisation of plots in land-reform zones,” he said.
“Under this law, offenders face up to a month in jail and a fine not exceeding B1,000 – which is rather lenient.”
Ms Pareena is reported to occupy 691 rai of land in Khao Son 1, which are reserved for poor farmers under the government’s land reform policy. She is also accused of encroaching on 46 rai of forest land in Khao Son 2.
Both Khao Son 1 and 2 are located in Tambon Rang Bua, Chom Bueng District of Ratchaburi.
Mr Vinaroj said a national committee will consider whether the Ratchaburi MP has satisfied the Alro’s criteria to acquire plots in a land-reform zone.
Mr Vinaroj added he has accepted for consideration a letter from Ms Pareena on Tuesday, urging the office to re-survey the Khao Son 1 and 2 to clarify whether any of her plots are encroaching parts of the forest.
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