Gen Chatchawal was appointed to run the DSI after the National Council or Peace and Order (NCPO) removed his predecessor, Tharit Pengdit, on May 25, three days after the coup.
Samak Donnapee, Director General of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) told Gen Chatchawal that he was having trouble getting cooperation from the Land Department.
“Getting to talk with the Land Department when we want to check information is very hard, especially [in cases of encroachment] in Sirinart National Park. It is as hard as trying to pull down buildings.
“But we will be successful with the support of the DSI. I want to thank the NCPO. This is the right time to do this.
Gen Chatchawal said, “We have to work together according to the law. Then we will find out the main points [about how the land documents originated]. We will follow up with the Land Department [on getting] information.
The DNP has no power to get documents it wants to examine from the Land Department, which has in the past insisted that handing over land documents infringes the privacy of land owners.
The DSI, however, does have the power to demand cooperation from reluctant officials and force them to hand over documents.
Gen Chatchawal added, “I don’t believe this will have any effect on Phuket tourism because tourists are here for a holiday. But business people will be in trouble. We will do everything according to the law.”