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Former Phuket Governor named in billion-baht illegal land title probe

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PHUKET: Former Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop, along with a former Phuket Land Office chief and several other officials, has been named in a police complaint filed over illegal land titles issued for 80 rai in Sirinath National Park.

Kitiphat Taraphiban filed the complaint, naming a network of 13 people, at Thalang Police Station on Thursday as one of his last acts as park chief.

Mr Kitiphat submitted his resignation on Thursday after only three months as park chief amid death threats and intimidation by influential people (story here).

The complaint centers on two Chanote titles issued in 2009, Mr Kitiphat explained to the Phuket Gazette.

“The complaint was filed against those who claim to own the land, the officials involved in issuing the titles and those who signed as witnesses to the documents,” he said.

“Among them, four intentionally reported false information to officers and nine officials abused their positions of power.”

Mr Kitiphat defined the suspects named in the complaint as “officers from the Thalang Land Office who surveyed the land, the Thalang Land Office Chief, officers from the Royal Forestry Department, the Chief Administrative Officer (Palad) of the Thalang District Office, the Sirinath National Park Chief, the Phuket Land office Chief and the Phuket Governor at that time.”

“This is an ongoing campaign. We are working together with other departments that are assisting our investigation, such as the Land Department, the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) and the Public-sector Anti Corruption Commission (PACC),” Mr Kitiphat said.

“There are many other land plots we have yet to investigate in order to reclaim public land.”

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

 

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