Park rangers arrested Premchai, the 63-year-old president of the huge SET-listed construction company Italian-Thai Development (ITD), in a no-camping area of Huai Pachee forest in the western part of the Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary in tambon Chalae of Thong Phaphum district late on Sunday night (Feb 4).
Officials found skinned carcasses of protected wild animals, including a 1.48-metre-long black panther, a Kalij Pheasant and a barking deer, three long-barrelled guns and ammunition in his possession.
Arrested with him were ITD employee Yong Dodkhruea, 65, of Ratchaburi province, Nathee Riamsaen, 43 from Nakhon Ratchasima province, and Thanee Thummat, 56 from Kanchanaburi. They were charged with unauthorised hunting, unauthorised hunting in a wildlife sanctuary, unauthorised possession of wildlife carcasses, illegally bringing hunting tools into a wildlife sanctuary, unauthorised collection of forest products and illegal possession of firearms.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Surasak Kanchanarat said today (Feb 6) that Thanya Netithammakul, director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, reported the arrest to him and he ordered officials to carefully investigate the issue.
Premchai and the three other people entered the wildlife sanctuary on Saturday (Feb 3). They informed park rangers they were going on a two-day-one-night trekking and camping trip. They would use the 30-kilometre Tinuai-Tikong-Maharat trail.
On Sunday a Maharat forest ranger unit informed the sanctuary management that Premchai’s group were staying in a no-camping area.
Rangers were sent to their camp and brought them back to the sanctuary office about 2:40am on yesterday (Feb 5).
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