Mr Niwatchai attended a meeting held at Provincial Hall on Thursday (Aug 15) for the briefing, and to call for officers to expedite their investigations.
Mr Niwatchai also called on the public to report any suspected attempts to claim government land by reporting it directly to the NACC by mail or through the NACC official website. (Click here.)
Reports may be mailed to the NACC headquarters at 361 Nonthaburi Rd (Sanambinnam Rd), Thasaai District, Amphur Muang, Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand.
Alternatively, reports can be filed through the NACC website contact page. (Click here.)
All reports will be treated anonymously, and whistleblowers will be protected, Mr Niwatchai assured.
The NACC has the ability and the authority to bring such cases to court and appeal for claims to any state land to be annulled, Mr Niwatchai said.
That assurance came the same day that Bangkok MP Sira Jenjaka of the military-aligned ruling Palang Pracharath Party said he had received death threats for exposing a condominium project in Phuket which sits on land that saw its ownership documents revoked by the court.
Mr Sira also said that two people had already died as a result of speaking out about the project. (See story here.)
Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana, Vice Governor Thanyawat Chanpinit and NACC Phuket office Director Suksan Prasa-Ra-ae, along with a host of other relevant officials were all present at the meeting to brief Mr Niwatchai.
However, ahead of Mr Niwatchai’s arrival in Phuket on Thursday, Phuket officials including the Governor held their own meeting on Wednesday (Aug 14), where several cases were specifically mentioned, including the claims to the 178 rai along the Layan-Leypang beachfront which has been estimated to be worth at least B10 billion.
Officials have failed to evict businesses – mostly restaurants serving tourists – from the pristine location despite a Supreme Court ruling in November 2017.
The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has several times threatened to evict the businesses, but has so far failed.
Phuket officials have so far done nothing other than make rare public statements that they are “waiting for the legal process to be resolved”. (See links to comprehensive history of the battle for Layan Beach below.)
At the meeting on Wednesday, according to the reports by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (see here and here), officials had upgraded their stance to “now in the process of enforcing as in the judgment”.
“The Department of Land is working under the regulation of National Land Management Committee (case) no. 9/1986” was all the report said.
The reports made no further mention of the case.
Also of note, while the meeting on Wednesday specifically cited several claims to state land under investigation, it was not made clear whether Layan beachfront case was brought to Mr Niwatchai’s attention.
Cases that were specifically mentioned at the meeting on Wednesday, attended by Phuket branch of the Office of the State Land Management (OSLM-Phuket), included a claim filed by Sanoh Pohpandee for the land on which his house sits in Moo. 3 Mai Khao, Thalang.
Mr Sanoh has so far had his application for his SorKor 1 land use document to be “renewed” refused. He has since filed a complaint to the Phuket Damrongdharm Centre (Provincial Ombudsman’s Office) and with OSLM head office in Bangkok (click here), the meeting was told.
Officers were “still gathering information” regarding that case, the meeting was told.
Other claims to under investigation included land plots in in Moo 6, 7 and 8 in the Khao Khad area of Wichit; Moo 1, 2 and 6 in the Khao Dang area of Rawai); as well as land claims in Baan Kuku, Rassada, and a public cemetery in Moo 3 Rassada, the meeting was told.
At the meeting officers were ordered to expedite their efforts in resolving the cases.
Supreme Court orders B10bn, 3km beachfront Phuket land to be returned to public
Nov 3, 2017 - (Click here)
DSI posts encroachment warning signs at Layan, Leypang beaches
Nov 16, 2017 - (Click here)
Phuket beachfront businesses at Layan, Leypang ordered: 'Get out, or be demolished’
Feb 13, 2018 - (Click here)
Phuket's MaAnn pressured over Supreme Court beach evictions
Feb 14, 2018 - (Click here)
Phuket officials stumble in enforcing Supreme Court beach evictions
Mar 5, 2018 - (Click here)
Not For Sale: Attempt to sell Phuket beachfront state-owned land for B3.6bn draws fire
May 5, 2018 - (Click here)
DSI honours locals over genuine land claims in Phuket national park
Jun 29, 2018 - (Click here)
No specific date set for enforcement of Supreme Court beach evictions in Phuket
Oct 6, 2018 – (Click here)