Amlo land probe “still running’

BANGKOK: Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) Deputy Secretary Pol Col Yuthaboon Disamarn has said he will return to Phuket to continue his office’s investigation into fraudulent land titles.

Col Yuthaboon told the Gazette that he felt it was important that his department crack down on illegal land holdings, so that innocent people are not duped into buying government land.

He said, “There’s no point in talking about this ruining investment in Phuket. What I don’t want is dishonest businessman having plots of land they have come by illegally, then selling them to other people. I don’t want them cheating other people.”

Col Yuthaboon said he could not say when he would be returning to Phuket, or which land would be investigated during his next trip.

However, he did say that he would be examining cases where it was suspected that “flying Sor Kor 1″ papers had been used to register land. This involves using a legitimate Sor Kor 1 for one piece of land to claim ownership of another, more valuable, plot.

Said Col Yuthaboon, “Amlo will check the land carefully and thoroughly, and if we find it is held illegally, we will seize it immediately and return it to the relevant government office.”

The most recent high-profile arrest by Amlo and the police’s crime suppresison division was that of Chamnan Pachantabutr in September, when officers also seized six bank books, two Chanote land deeds and some items of jewelry.

Amlo also confiscated two cars and two bank books from former land officer Uru Thipthep, who is currently on trial in connection with falsified land documents.

Col Yuthaboon blamed Uru and two other land officials – former Kathu District Land Office boss Bunchoo Limraksasin, who was arrested in Ranong on July 21, and Thawatchai Anukul, the fugitive former chief registar of the Phuket Provincial Land Office – for the “terrible” situation in Phuket.

“They made fake land titles [which were] sold to investors,” the colonel explained.

The fate of buildings constructed on illegally-held state land was a matter for the courts to decide, said Col Yuthaboon, adding, “In my opinion, these people have no right to occupy this land and they should be charged in court.

“I recommend that the government use the law to resolve these problems step by step.”

Phuket News
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