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Accused poacher-tycoon ‘still in Thailand’

BANGKOK: Premchai Karnasuta, the president of Italian-Thai Development Plc (ITD) accused of poaching wildlife in a Kanchanaburi World Heritage sanctuary, is still in the country, his lawyer has insisted.

By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 13 February 2018, 08:58AM

Construction Tycoon and accused wildlife poacher Premchai Karnasuta, currently on bail of B150,000, has disappeared from public but his lawyer insists he is in Thailand. Photo: Bangkok Post / file

Construction Tycoon and accused wildlife poacher Premchai Karnasuta, currently on bail of B150,000, has disappeared from public but his lawyer insists he is in Thailand. Photo: Bangkok Post / file

Lawyer Withoon Yamprai yesterday (Feb 12) denied reports that Premchai had already fled via a natural border. Premchai is still in the country and performing his normal duties inspecting construction sites every day, Mr Withoon said, adding that the ITD boss was not worried about the case.

Deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul yesterday said the Immigration Bureau had no information about Premchai fleeing to a neighbouring country.

But if there is proof of him escaping, police can ask the court to revoke his bail, Gen Srivara said.

Mr Withoon said Premchai will appear in court on March 26.

Thong Pha Phum Police have pressed nine charges including poaching against Premchai, 63, and three other members of his hunting party. All denied the allegations.

They were arrested last Sunday (Feb 4) in a no-camping zone in the western part of the Thungyai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary in Kanchanaburi province after they were found in possession of the carcasses of protected wild animals, including a 1.48-metre-long rare black Indochinese leopard, a Kalij pheasant and a common muntjac, also known as a barking deer, as well as three long-barrelled guns and ammunition.

The four were released by the court after they posted bail of B150,000 each.

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Premchai has been the target of public criticism after his arrest.

Meanwhile, authorities yesterday also began reviewing a land encroachment case in Loei’s Phu Rue district after a fresh sound clip emerged believed to be a conversation held while Premchai and his group were in officials’ custody.

In the clip, someone said Premchai owns a house on a mountain in Loei’s Phu Rua district.

The Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division will investigate whether the house in question was encroaching on forest reserve land, Gen Srivara said.

Atthapol Charoenchansa, deputy director-general of the Royal Forest Department, yesterday said an initial check has found the house is located outside the forest reserve.

Suwat Inthasit, deputy commander of the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division, yesterday said Noppadon Prueksawan, a former official of the Department of Natural Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, told police he will report to police on Thursday (Feb 15) or Friday (Feb 16) in response to a summons. Noppadon was implicated as the person who sought permission for Premchai and his entourage to visit the sanctuary.

Read original story here.



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Kurt | 24 February 2018 - 11:40:19

First a rain of 9 charges. Now they start already melting away. 
One gone, Up to the next.
A charge is something serious, right? 
To start withdrawing them in just lesser than 2 weeks time is funny.

Jor12 | 13 February 2018 - 17:30:47

The elderly couple were imprisoned after originally being charged with illegal logging and pleaded guilty to the charge after being advised by a lawyer to plead guilty to lessen the sentence. 

DeKaaskopp | 13 February 2018 - 15:44:04

You are right!Different punishments for different people here.The poor Thais go to prison for picking mushrooms,the rich foreigners getting a small fine for picking up corals or fishes! Not fair! Such an unequal,biased treatment here.Bad country!

Kurt | 13 February 2018 - 11:05:27

He is still 'in town'? Than when will the re-enactment in presence of the press take place?

We can compare this crime now nicely with the crime of the older thai couple that picked mushroom in a national park and were tried and sent 5 years to prison before they could breath twice

Here it still is!  
Thai Justice, different for the rich, for the poor, and the foreigners

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