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RFD chief asked to explain actions in Pareena land scandal

RFD chief asked to explain actions in Pareena land scandal

BANGKOK: The House anti-graft committee will invite the head of the Royal Forestry Department (RFD) to explain what he is doing about the land-ownership scandal involving Palang Pracharath MP Pareena Kraikupt.

corruptioncrimeenvironmentlandnatural-resourcespoliticsagriculture
By Bangkok Post

Friday 13 December 2019, 09:59AM


The chief of the Royal Forestry Department (RFD), Attapol Charoenchansa. Photo Bangkok Post

The chief of the Royal Forestry Department (RFD), Attapol Charoenchansa. Photo Bangkok Post

The move was announced yesterday (Dec 12) by Thirajchai Phanthumat, a Future Forward Party MP and spokesman for the House of Representatives committee on corruption suppression and prevention.

Mr Thirajchai said that while the RFD and Alro claim they are waiting for the Council of State's opinion about the actual scope of their authority and how far they can go in pursuing legal action against Ms Pareena, the public wants to know what the agencies are actually doing about it.

It comes after Agricultural Land Reform Office (Alro) secretary-general Vinaroj Sapsongsuk said his office could not take legal action against the Ratchaburi MP because she had already agreed to hand over the 682 rai of Sor Por Kor land in her possession.

Mr Vinaroj said Alro could not take legal action because it had no jurisdiction over the land. It was not favouring her.

The 682-rai occupied by Ms Pareena's chicklen farm was under the jurisdiction of RFD before it was transferred to Alro for distribution ed to landless farmers in 2014 as part of a land reform programme.

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Ms Pareena had possession of the land before it was marked out for the reform programme, and now that she had agreed to return it Alro had no just cause to take her to court, he said.

However, she may have violated other laws governing public or forest land, Mr Vinaroj said. The land in question was under the jurisdiction of both the RFD and the Land Department, and they were entitled to take action against the MP.

Mana Nimitmongkon, secretary-general of the Anti-Corruption Organisation of Thailand, meanwhile, is urging the government to break the vicious cycle of corruption in the bureaucracy by powerful people and take a correct legal stand.

He said the government can start with Ms Pareena's land case.

Pheu Thai spokesman Anusorn Iamsa-ard said that if the RFD or Alro fail to take proper legal action against Ms Pareena, they may themselves end up facing charges of dereliction of duty.

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Kurt | 13 December 2019 - 16:42:00

All together just a thai soap opera. Throwing sand in the eyes of citizens about what is really going on. One year from now the chicken farms of that rich person still will be there on the 'land of the poor'. During 'tea breaks' in Parliament this lady smiles and works her way through and out of the publicity problem. Same as that illegal judge housing project in ChiangMai province...

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