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DSI sues 14 'forest encroachers'

DSI sues 14 'forest encroachers'

PHETCHABUN: The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) is suing 14 land officials and landlords for illegally encroaching on 700 rai of forest reserves in Phetchabun, which they turned into rubber plantations.

landpropertycrimecorruptioneconomicsenvironmentpolice
By Bangkok Post

Friday 25 March 2016, 09:09AM


The wrongdoing, involving eight businessmen from the South, was helped along by six land officials who issued land title deeds on parts of Phu Ruea, Phu Khithao and Phu Pueai protected forests in tambon Sila in Lom Kao district, deputy DSI spokesman Pol Lt Col Woranan Silam said yesterday (Mar 24).

However, only five officials will be prosecuted as one of them has since died, he said.

“An inspection found the land title deeds were granted illegally for all land plots,” Col Woranan said.

The land deeds, which resulted in damages worth about 29 million baht, are clearly illegal as the area sits on a protected mountain, he said.

Parts of the area are also classified as water resource zones where land use is not allowed.

The laws may be lenient to local villagers who have occupied and made use of the land since before 1954. Yet an examination of aerial photos taken before that year shows there was no trace of land use, Col Woranan said, stressing the entire area was forest land.

BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET

According to the DSI investigation, the eight businessmen acquired the land via a former local official in the Khao Kho area who served as their broker “buying most of the plots from villagers”, before the land officials helped grant them legal ownership, Col Woranan said.

DSI investigators also believed a nearby resort construction had encroached on some 150 rai of forest, Col Woranan added. The area is part of Khao Pang Ko and Kao Wang Chumphu forest reserves in Khao Kho district.

The DSI is preparing a request for the Royal Forest Department to consider demolishing the illegal buildings, Col Woranan said.

Land encroachment is a perennial problem in Thailand with officials colluding with businessmen to poach protected areas and turn them into resorts. Sometimes land is illegally bought from farmers who were given rights to farm on protected land but not to sell it.

 

Read original story here.

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Rorii | 29 September 2016 - 16:08:06

Knowing how quickly most Thais grass on their accompanists will we see more "suicides," or let out on bail, and never seen again.

Kurt | 29 September 2016 - 14:50:06

Richard Vickers: Corruption in Thailand is almost genetic.
Why? Because thai never have to loose something when being corrupt.
A corrupt thai official gets removed to a inactive post with salary instead send to prison and wait his court case there.
Or, even worse, get transferred , and are given chance to start his corruption practices at new working location again.
Bad influence to co workers...

Kurt | 29 September 2016 - 14:15:39

Richard Vickers: Just read today's article....Local thai administrations plagued with corruption, says thai Justice Minister. 
It all is in line what we readers sometimes express here.

Christy Sweet | 29 September 2016 - 12:48:35

Rick Vicker returns !! Yay!! Missed ya!!   As for DSI, a major encroachment witness just died suspiciously while in their custody. When they come into Phuket and start tearing up the places along route 4018, I\'ll believe they are serious. This recent action is about making a show- harass some farmers already losing their  shirts on falling rubber prices.

Joe12 | 29 September 2016 - 11:46:08

Richard...best read this then..http://www.thephuketnews.com/local-administrations-plagued-with-corruption-says-justice-minister-59276.php#8163#v9kSZKPBpMlV4hHK.97

Richard Vickers | 26 March 2016 - 01:44:45

Why even report this kind of crap.  Nothing will be happening over this.  Land theft by greedy people at the hands of corrupt officials is a way of life here. Whenever I see someone getting arrested or investigated, I'm thinking the main reason for it is that someone wasn't greasing the right palms. Look around Sirinath National Park...plenty of known illegal encroachment, but it really ...

Farangswed | 25 March 2016 - 09:20:46

Wery good   if you doing wrong U doing time :-)

I  would like to see they check out patong hehe 

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