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Probe into land plot scheme on tiny island fingers Krabi officials

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: A land plot on Nui Nok island stirs controversy.

A probe into the previously reported plot of land on Nui Nok island in Krabi is heating up as the Thai Land Department suspects the involvement of other government officials. The small plot of land on the currently uninhabited tiny island fell into the hands of an official from the Department of Special Investigation, who themselves are launching their own special investigation, under suspicious circumstances.

The Thai Land Department has filed further complaints with the police regarding the land plot of about 0.8 hectares on the tiny island in the Koh Lanta district. Their complaints name more officials they believe may have been involved with the illegal plot.

The suspicious transfer of the title deeds to the land look to be a step in a scheme to obtain legal ownership of the island land in order to sell it for pure profit. The land title deed for the island plot was issued to the DSI official a few months ago on September 28. Then just 3 weeks later, on October 18, the new landowner filed papers to register to be able to sell the land. The deed appears to have been pushed through to allow a quick flip of the land.

An investigative panel has been put together and given a 15-day deadline in order to research, gather information, and complete their investigation. The Director-General of the Land Department vowed to use the investigative committee to uncover the truth of how the land deed was issued and if any laws have been broken.

One sticking point is that a land title deed can only be issued for a plot of land that has been utilised. The small plot on the uninhabited island does not appear to have been utilised at all and no proof has been offered yet, so the issuance may be a violation already.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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    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.

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