Tycoon Premchai sentenced to 3 years, 2 months for poaching

PHOTO: Premchai Karnasuta was sentenced to over 3 years in jail for poaching. (via Thai Newsroom)

Thailand’s construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta was sentenced to 3 years and 2 months in jail without parole by the Supreme Court today for poaching and hunting a black panther in Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary in Kanchanaburi in February 2018.

The Office of the Attorney General rushed out the announcement earlier so hurriedly that it underreported the sentencing of Premchai and Yong Dodkrua and Thanee Thummat, two of Premchai’s accomplices. The original report subtracted 8 months from each sentence mistakenly believing that a revision of the Wild Animal Preservation and Protection Act 2 years ago would reduce their sentences, but it does not.

The revision removed “acceptance” of wildlife carcasses as an offence punishable by 8 months in jail. But a similar charge of the “possessing” of wildlife carcasses actually was applied to the 3 convictions today. As a result, Premchai’s 2 years and 6-month sentence was actually a sentence 3 years and 2 months, while his 68 year old former driver Yong was sentenced to 3 years and 5 months and Thanee who had been his hunter received 3 years and 9 months.

Many people were following the verdicts intently since they would have an impact on the equality of Thai society.

In 2019, the Italian-Thai Development CEO acknowledged the charge and had received a lowered sentence from the earlier conviction as a result of the construction tycoon acknowledging the charge. The original charges were said to have later been halved owing to his confession.

Now Premchai was also sentenced by the court to pay a sum of 2 million baht in compensation. He was also charged with corruption for trying to bribe a forest ranger who caught him with a group of hunters.

Premchai was in possession of two hunting rifles and another handmade one when he was apprehended.

SOURCE: The Phuket News and Nation Thailand

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.