Connect with us

Phuket

Landmark victory sees illegal billion-baht property seized

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) won a landmark case this year in a 16-year battle to repossess a billion-baht property within Sirinath National Park.

“This is our first Supreme Court win,” DNP Chief Samak Donnapee told the Phuket Gazette yesterday. “It is a momentous occasion and a victory for the people of Phuket and Thailand.”

Thailand’s Supreme Court made its first ruling on the Sirinath National Park scandal in May, which saw two plots of 266 pieces of ‘black property’ deemed as illegal, Mr Samak said.

“We categorized the 745 plots of land under investigation, which comprise about 3,900 rai, into three categories: black, gray and white. There are 266 plots covering 1,683 rai that are clearly illegal, making them ‘black properties’. We expect to seize them in the near future, pending rulings from the court,” said Mr Samak. “There are 356 gray plots, comprising 2,081 rai, which are still under investigation and 93 white plots, comprising 136 rai, which are legally owned.”

Five former Sirinath National Park chiefs are implicated in the investigation: Thanapong Apaiso, Somkiet Suntornpitakkul, Sukkee Khamnuansin, Jarouy Inchan and Nonthawit Jutrabandit (story here).

Former Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop, along with a former Phuket Land Office chief and several other officials, were named in a police complaint filed in 2014 over illegal land titles issued for 80 rai in Sirinath National Park (story here).

DNP Director Nipon Chotiban has already approved a committee to begin an investigation into the actions of the park officials. The committee is slated to meet in January.

The ruling against Sawanya Siripong will see 12 of the almost 4,000 rai of land under investigation returned to the DNP.

The two plots owned by Ms Sawanya run adjacent to the land owned by Three Dolphins Company, which owns Trisara Resort, and is also under investigation for illegal encroachment.

“Three Dolphins originally submitted a NorSor 3 Kor of 37 rai for an upgrade to a Chanote title. However, when the land was issued a Chanote, it was for 99 rai – not 37 rai. This is why we believe it was wrongfully issued,” Mr Nipon Chotibal said in 2014.

A letter is to be filed with the DNP, which will allow officers to execute a demolition order for all structures on Ms Sawanya’s property, confirmed Mr Samak.

“We will track down Ms Sawanya. She will have to pay a fine for the destruction of the forest,” Mr Samak said.

Officers have not been able to find Ms Sawanya, who they suspect might have changed her name.

“Sirinath National Park Chief Kittipat Tharapiban said he will use Ms Sawanya’s ID card number to determine if she did indeed change her name,” Mr Samak said.

Meanwhile, the director of the Department of Special Investigation’s Bureau of Consumer Protection and Environment Crime (DSI), Prawut Wongseenin, told the Gazette that his team was working on a number of cases involving alleged land encroachment on Sirinath National Park land.

The DSI is working on cases against: Three Dolphins Co Ltd (Trisara); Three Dolphins Resort; Fair and Firm Co Ltd (Phuket Arcadia); Phuket Peninsula Co Ltd (Phuket Peninsula); Pinnacle Cape Co Ltd; and The Andaman White Beach Resort. Also under investigation are individual owners: Chomchanok Suthamma, Surachai Laochuasai and Anupap Vechwanichsanong, confirmed Lt Col Prawut.

The DSI and DNP investigation has allegedly been hampered by the Land Office repeatedly refusing to hand over land registration documents to DNP officers investigating the encroachment, said DSI Director Chatchawal Suksomjit last year (story here).

“We are still gathering evidence in these cases. However, we expect to have two of them concluded by the end of November.”

— Nattha Thepbamrung

 

Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Thaiger Talk Forums.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Tourism12 hours ago

Pattaya October reopening hampered by obstacles

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

Thong Lor again: 31 arrested in club violating Covid-19 rules

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

Pfizer vaccine application received, review process begun

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Visa17 hours ago

Covid-19 prevention leads to 14 arrests of longterm overstays

Coronavirus (Covid-19)17 hours ago

Covid UPDATE: 3,277 new infections and 29 deaths, provincial totals

Thailand17 hours ago

Red tape and restrictions suggest a slow Phuket reopening

Phuket18 hours ago

UPDATE: Tourism Minister reportedly says July 1 ‘sandbox’ won’t happen

Tourism18 hours ago

Koh Samui eyes August 1 reopening, “Samui Sealed Route”

Weather20 hours ago

Village need rain? Have you considered a giant penis?

Coronavirus (Covid-19)23 hours ago

Covid UPDATE Saturday: 3,277 new infections and 29 deaths

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

8.3% of Thailand’s 50 million vaccine target reached so far

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Site launched for June 14 vaccine signup for all foreigners

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Free quarantine accommodation for arriving Thais to be cancelled

Thailand2 days ago

Thailand News Today | Sandbox – bar, clubs closed? Local AZ problems, Sex toy arrest | June 11

Drugs2 days ago

UN report: Changes in Southeast Asia drug trafficking during the pandemic

Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism3 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending