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Phi Phi park chief moved amid B30mn national park fee fraud probe

PHUKET: The chief of the national park at Phi Phi Island has been transferred pending an investigation into a possible B30 million a month being stolen from park entry fees collected from tourists.

crimecorruptioneconomicsenvironmentnatural-resourcesmilitarypolicetourism
By Eakkapop Thongtub

Monday 24 August 2015, 01:07PM


An estimated B500k a day in park entry fees was allegedly stolen. Photo: Jason Bagely

An estimated B500k a day in park entry fees was allegedly stolen. Photo: Jason Bagely

Chaithach Boonphupantanti, Chief of the Hat Noppharat Thara - Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park, was transferred to Director of Watershed Conservation on June 18.

Sarayut Tantien, the former chief at Khao Phanom Bencha National Park in Krabi, has now been installed as the new Phi Phi park chief.

“On May 17, one day prior to National Reform Council officials taking over operations at the park, the park entrance fees reported as collected was B80,360,” revealed Department of National Park ,Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) Director Nipon Chotibal.

“But the next day, when NRC officials took over managing the accounts for the park (on May 18), the entry fees collected was recorded at B522,980.”

From May 18 to June 17, the NRC officials recorded a total of B8,069,190 collected as park entry fees at Phi Phi.

“That’s an average of B500,000 more per day, so about B30 million per month has not been accounted for,” Chief Nipon said.

The NRC and the DNP have now launched investigations into the operation of Moo Koh Surin Nation Park, Moo Koh Similan National Park, Moo Koh Lanta National Park and Ao Nang National Park.

“Suspicion of defrauding the NRC and the DNP is a serious offence,” Mr Nipon said.

“And we are investigating high-level officers involved,” he added.

 

 

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Richard Vickers | 26 August 2015 - 21:21:23

What a complete joke... you catch this guy pilfering the National parks, so you just send the clown to a different area.  Why not suspend him without pay while under investigation, then throw is ass in jail for the same amount of time he has been stealing from the Kingdom. He is a crook.  This silly move also shows how unimportant the Watershed Conservation Department is, since they put a known cr...

Timothy | 26 August 2015 - 10:01:43

Timkerbell, if you read carefully, the group stealing the money claimed to only take in 80,000 per day. The new group came in and took in over 500,000 per day. In another report, some days they actually collected up to a million per day. 

Tinkerbell | 25 August 2015 - 13:34:20

How are these calculations made? Between 80,000 and 522,000, I do not see an average of 500,000 a day more. 
How does 500,000 per day make 30 million per month?
And how is 30 million per month embezzled if NRC even only got 8 million? 
  

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