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Official faces encroachment charge, American’s home seized in Petchabun

Jack Burton

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Official faces encroachment charge, American’s home seized in Petchabun | The Thaiger
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A senior official of the Office of the PM is facing encroachment charges after the seizure of a house built by an American man near Khao Kho national park in the northern Phetchabun province. Authorities filed a police report following an investigation by a team of forestry officials, soldiers and local authorities at the site on Thursday evening. They were acting on a complaint that a foreign national had illegally built a “luxury home” in a reserved forest area.

Authorities say the site was originally two Ror Or Sor plots — land allocated by the army to defence volunteers who fought communist insurgents 40 years ago. They are not allowed to be sold. Somehow the land ended up in the hands of a forestry official, who sold it to a woman who works in the Office of the Prime Minister. She let an American friend build there.

When the team arrived, they found a resort house and a shed for construction materials. Soon an American man, identified as the house’s owner, arrived along with a Thai man identified as Panya Sawatongkhol. Panya told officials he was authorised by the landowner, Dusita Srichoo, to point out the boundary of the land.

He showed them a letter authorising him to represent the woman and documents related to the land purchase. Panya said Dusita bought the 16 rai plot from a forestry official for 960,000 baht in 2009.

After they inspected the boundary, officials found the land is part of the Phloklon national forest reserve near Khao Kho national park. A further check showed that the plot claimed to be owned Dusita duplicated 2 Ror Or Sor land plots.

Authorities say Dusita is not the original land holder, and that the change of ownership violates a 1998 Cabinet resolution that allocated land to the poor and landless.

As the land was being occupied illegally, officials seized it, saying the forest encroachment caused damage estimated at 1.13 million baht to the state.

A source familiar with the investigation said Dusita is the director of the analysis and foreign affairs coordination division in the Office of the PM. The forestry official from whom she bought the land was identified as Preecha Samart, now director of the Natural Resources and Environment Office in the lower northern Nakhon Sawan province.

Official faces encroachment charge, American's home seized in Petchabun | News by The ThaigerOfficial faces encroachment charge, American's home seized in Petchabun | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    August 22, 2020 at 8:10 pm

    So the American guy is s.o.l.! I wonder if the guy hired an attorney to ensure he met his due diligence. If so, it seems no matter what you do an authority can show up and say a transaction that happened decades before was not legal so you go.

  2. Avatar

    Preesy Chepuce

    August 23, 2020 at 4:03 am

    Whoops.

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    August 23, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    Oh they are starting grabbing white property now, and they did in Zimbabwe.
    What excuse are they going to give? It is for the veterans fighters?
    One more nail in the coffin of housing and business investment in Thailand.
    This might just be the start . . .

  4. Avatar

    Robert

    August 23, 2020 at 7:50 pm

    I thought foreigners were unable to own property in Thailand. The only exception being Condos. This guy probably deserves what he got, didn’t do any research.

    • Avatar

      Buddy

      August 25, 2020 at 11:12 am

      Foreigners can own a condo or 1 rai (1/2 acre) of land provided they meet certain requirements.

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Pattaya

Pattaya men allegedly posed as police officers, extorted $50,000 from a woman

Caitlin Ashworth

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Pattaya men allegedly posed as police officers, extorted $50,000 from a woman | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Line Today

A group of 4 men in Pattaya allegedly posed as police officers and extorted 50,000 baht from a woman. The 20 year old woman says the men claiming to be police officers raided her condominium and a friend visiting had drugs in his possession.

In the report filed with Pattaya City Police, the woman says the men asked both her and her friend for a bribe of 25,000 baht each. If they didn’t pay up, the men said they would arrest them on drug charges, according to the complaint. The woman says she gave the men 50,000 baht.

The men who allegedly posed as police officers were not in uniform and did not show any identification or badges, the woman says. After giving it some thought, the woman became suspicious and decided to file a complaint with police. Police are still investigating.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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Crime

Facebook, Twitter may face charges for allegedly allowing lèse majesté content

Caitlin Ashworth

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Facebook, Twitter may face charges for allegedly allowing lèse majesté content | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Standard

Facebook and Twitter could face charges for failing to block so called lèse majesté posts that allegedly violate Thailand’s Computer Crime Act. The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society says the social media platforms were warned about Thailand’s laws regarding content that insults the Thai Monarchy or threatens national security and peace, but failed to remove all the illegal posts.

Letters were sent out to the operators of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube giving them 15 days to take down the illegal posts or charges would be pressed, according to Minister of Digital Economy and Society Buddhipongse Punnakanta. Since not all the posts were removed, the ministry has asked the Technology Crime Suppression Police to step in and prosecute the social media platforms.

The Thai government has been using the blunt tool of “shooting the messenger” in its battle against content deemed disrespectful of the Thai Monarchy under its lèse majesté laws.

“It is the first time in Thailand that the (computer crime) law is exercised to prosecute the service providers. Charges will go to the parent company of all the organisations. The police will use Thai laws because the offences happened in Thailand. I believe the police can do it.”

The minister says Facebook was told to take down 661 posts, but they only removed 225. Twitter was told to remove 69 posts, he says, but only took down 5. YouTube was told to remove 289 posts and all of them were blocked. Social media platforms that violate the Computer Crime Act could face an up to 200,000 baht fine per illegal post and a daily fine of up to 5,000 until the content is removed.

Buddhipongse filed the complaint which also cited nearly 1,000 social media posts that allegedly violate the act. They say the posts offending the Thai Monarchy were made during the pro-democracy protest in Bangkok last weekend.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

982 lèse majesté social media posts cited in police complaint

Caitlin Ashworth

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982 lèse majesté social media posts cited in police complaint | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Line Today

Nearly 1,000 so called lèse majesté posts on social media have been cited in a police complaint for allegedly violating Thailand’s Computer Crime Act, some allegedly criticising and insulting the Thai Monarchy. The complaints were filed by Digital Economy and Society Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta.

The police report says the social media posts were shared during the pro-democracy protest over the weekend. Altogether, 982 social media posts allegedly violate Thailand’s Computer Crime Act. The ministry has also applied for a warrant to block content on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter at violate the act.

In Thailand, lèse majesté (insulting the monarch) is criminalised by Section 112 of the Thai Criminal Code… Since 2018, there have been no known new (lèse majesté) cases, but the authorities have invoked other laws, such as the Computer Crimes Act and sedition laws, to deal with perceived damages and insults to the monarchy. – Wikipedia

The complaints and subsequent legal threats, are a rear-guard action by a government and officialdom rattled by the number of protesters and by the extent of their demands, touching on the culturally taboo topic of Thailand’s revered monarchy. Another protest is on today at the front of the Thai parliament in Bangkok.

Out of the 982 posts, 661 were on Facebook, 289 were on YouTube, 69 were on Twitter and 5 were on other websites. Buddhipongse says 2 Facebook posts and 3 Instagram posts violate an Article 14 in the Computer Crime Act which regards posts that many cause damage to the country’s national security or cause a public panic. Those who violate Article 14 face up to 5 years in prison and an up to 100,000 baht.

Social media platforms could also face charges for violating the act’s Article 27 for failing to comply with orders from the court to take down the posts. They could face a fine up to 200,000 baht and a daily fine of 5,000 until the posts are taken down.

Other posts allegedly violate the act’s Article 20 which prohibits the spread of information online that might have an impact on national security, or that might be contradictory to the peace. The Nation Thailand says each post that violates Article 20 could face a 200,000 baht fine.

Click HERE to read an unofficial English translation of the Computer Crime Act.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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