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Phuket encroacher is handed down 10 year sentence

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PHOTO: Nai Yang Beach, just part of the coastal land along Phuket’s north-west coastline

The Department of Special Investigation have successfully prosecuted an encroachment case involving land on Phuket’s north-west coast. The Criminal Court handed down a 10 year sentence to Anek Lipracha, a prime suspect in a case involving encroachment of 93 rai of coastal land in Sirinat Marine National Park in Phuket.

The court originally sentenced Anek to 15 years in prison but commuted the sentence to 10 years because he confessed to the charges. He was found guilty of violating both the National Reserved Forest Act and the Criminal Code.

He was found guilty of using false documentation to defraud officials into issuing land title deeds for the coastal strip of land. The land referred to in the case was public land belonging to the national park.

Sirinat National Park is on the northwestern coast of Phuket Island, in Thailand. Its pine-fringed beaches include Nai Thon, at the southern end, and Nai Yang, near Phuket International Airport. Mai Khao Beach is home to nesting turtles, including leatherbacks and hawksbills. Tropical coral reefs cluster in the waters offshore. In the north, past Sai Kaew Beach, mangrove forests shelter birds such as kingfishers.

The verdict was read out this week and automatically nullifies the title deeds issued in the national park. The court has also demanded the other people involved leave the encroached land under question.

Back in 2012 the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department called on the DSI to investigate potential forest encroachment committed by Anek along with seven other suspects.

The DSI accused Anek of using Sor Khor 1 land occupancy documents to apply to officials to issue land title deeds. A later investigation, including aerial photos, showed the areas listed on the papers were “different plots of land”.

The court says that the suspect was liable to a 12 year jail term over the conviction of illegal land occupation. Additionally he would serve two years for using false documents and an additional year for deceiving state officials – a total of 15 years.

The judge said that, because he had admitted to the crime and shown remorse, the court would commute the punishment to 10 years.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Phuket encroacher is handed down 10 year sentence | News by Thaiger

 

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