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More ‘land owners’ step forward in Naka Noi dispute

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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More ‘land owners’ step forward in Naka Noi dispute | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Three people who allegedly owned land documents for chunks of Naka Noi Island off Phuket’s east coast have challenged the family of Thai actor Puri Hiranpruk with the suggestion that all parties involved in a recent land dispute should donate their property to the public as a conservation area for local wildlife.

Jeya Tonkhlang, Dolmanap Tonkhlang and Jessada Thorthip spoke at a press conference yesterday to explain the tangled history of the ownership of the lush tropical island.

According to Ms Jeya, her grandfather Meaun Wangdee owned the entire 150 rai of land, which was then passed down to her father Ma-air Wangdee. Mr Ma-air then split about 60 rai of land from the family property. This 60 rai was sold to Luang Kajorn Lohawe, whose daughter sold the property to the family of famous Thai actor Puri, who also has a concession that secures the first 200 meters of a section of seabed for a pearl farm.

The remaining plots were then allegedly divided up between Ms Jeya, Mr Dolmanap and Mr Jessada.

“My father didn’t inform the Land Department that we owned the property, so we never had land title deeds for it,” said Ms Jeya, who claims to now possess a NorSor 3 land document for a section of the property, but failed to present it during the press conference.

In fact, none of the three people who met with the press presented the necessary documents to back their claims.

“We owned the land without any documentation until about 20 years ago, when we got the SorKor 1,” said Mr Jessada – he didn’t explain how he was able to obtain the SorKor 1, stating only that his father had taken care of the matter.

The row started after Mr Jessada upgraded the land usage document to a NorSor3Kor, which allegedly saw the land specified in the document swell from about seven rai to 17 rai, explained Lt Col Prawut Wongseenin, director of the Department of Special Investigation’s Bureau of Consumer Protection and Environmental Crime, during an investigation into the plot in December last year (story here). The document is now allegedly for a 24-rai plot of land.

“The change of the plot of land from seven rai to 24 rai might have been caused by measurement issues during the upgrading of the land documents. However, I can confirm that the land I owned was 24 rai,” said Mr Jessada today.

The same day that the land document was upgraded, July 30, 2014, it was sold to Six Mountain Co Ltd for more than 42 million baht.

Mr Puri filed the complaint following the sale of the property.

Earlier this month, Mr Puri made a post on Facebook about gunmen and a backhoe allegedly clearing the land, despite the ongoing DSI investigations. An inspection led by Phuket Vice Governor Chokdee Amornwat found no evidence to back the claim (story here).

A counter lawsuit was filed against Mr Puri. The owner of Six Mountains, Chanwit Kitlertsiriwattan, claimed that allegations made by Mr Puri could cause serious damage to his, as well as the company’s, reputation.

“The Facebook post about gunmen and a backhoe clearing the land can negatively impact our company, especially as neither of the claims is true,” Mr Chanwit said.

The Computer Crimes Act charge was filed against Mr Puri at Thalang Police Station on April 8.

“Mr Puri says that he asked officials to investigate the land documents on Naka Noi because he is worried about the hornbills native to the island, as well as other wildlife in the area,” said Mr Jessada. “If his family is truly worried about the well-being of these animals, they should donate their land to the public. If they do so, we will follow suit.”

Despite his pledge, Mr Jesseda, who sold the property to Six Mountains Co Ltd, is not able to legally guarantee the donation of the plot of land he sold.

No representative of Six Mountains Co Ltd spoke at the conference.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Business

Official complaint filed with the DSI over The Peaks Residences Condominium in Phuket

The Thaiger

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Official complaint filed with the DSI over The Peaks Residences Condominium in Phuket | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Inspections at the property in March this year – Kritsada Mueanhawong

Bangkok MP Sira Jenjaka has gone ahead and filed a long list of formal complaints over The Peaks Residences Condominium project being built in the hills above Kata Noi in Phuket.

The Palang Pracharat MP has also claimed to have had death threats made against him over his investigations and accusations over the condo’s land titles and ownership in recent weeks.

The MP filed an official complaint with the Department of Special Investigation chief in Bangkok this morning.

The complaint alleges that the Karon Mayor Tawee Thongcham and the municipality “neglected their duties” by issuing permits to Kata Beach Co Ltd, the developer of the The Peaks Residences Condominium.

In February this year the Karon OrBorTor issued a construction permit for the project but in April municipal officials also sent a letter acknowledging the ongoing legal proceedings over the legitimacy of the land title, the NorSor 3 Kor Number 1863.

The complaint alleges that the project is being built on land with a NorSor 3 Kor No. 1863 land title. The complainants allege that the legal land document would have had to have been presented to obtain building permits and construction to proceed. But they claim that, as the NorSor 3 Kor for that land was under consideration by the Administrative Court, a legal building permit could not be issued.

In August 2017, the Regional Administrative Court ruled that the NorSor 3 Kor No. 1863 land title was invalid. Furthermore it determined that the land was “protected forest land”.

The DSI formally received the complaint documents this morning.

Meanwhile, the developer of The Peaks Residences Condominium, Manassanan Nararattanawee, the CEO of Kata Beach Co Ltd, maintains that the project’s paperwork is all “proper’ and that “everything is under the law”.

“Our company has already suspended construction to wait for the judgment of the Supreme Administrative Court.”

Officials from the Internal Security Operations Command inspected the property in March this year as the owners promised to ‘slow down’ construction. Read that story HERE.

Official complaint filed with the DSI over The Peaks Residences Condominium in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

Official complaint filed with the DSI over The Peaks Residences Condominium in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Department of Special Investigations

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Environment

Phuket marine vets report on the progress of dugong calf ‘Yamil’

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket marine vets report on the progress of dugong calf ‘Yamil’ | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The Nation

A veterinary team at the Phuket Marine Biological Centre has removed the remaining partially-digested sea grass from the 3 month old dugong calf Yamil’s stomach to prevent complications from possible infection.

The calf still suffers from excess stomach and intestinal gas, abnormal heart rhythms and occasional seizures.

X-ray results showed liquid food is still passing through Yamil’s digestive track, so veterinarians were removing the remaining sea grass from its stomach and would provide the marine mammal with liquid nutrients and minerals, as well as painkillers and antibiotics. Veterinarians say they are keeping a close watch on the young dugong.

The male baby dugong was found washed ashore on Krabi’s Bo Muang Beach on July 1 with abrasions on more than 50% of its body. It is currently in the care of the Phuket Marine Biological Centre until it is old enough and strong enough to be returned to the sea.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Environment

Phuket’s water bosses claim there will be enough water

The Thaiger

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Phuket’s water bosses claim there will be enough water | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Bang Neow Dam in Thalang, just a few muddy ponds

Well into the second half of the Phuket wet season and the three main dams are well below capacity, Bang Wad Dam just over 13% capacity and the Bang Neow Dam in Thalang district around 5%, mostly unusable muddy ponds. The newer Khlong Katha in Chalong is at a much higher level, about 30% of capacity.

But this time of the year the three dams need to be well on their way to full capacity if the island is to get through the high tourists season and dry season without a repeat of last year’s muddle where provincial obfuscation and confusion put the health of thousands of residents at risk by cutting off their water supply and water trucks became more populous than passenger vans.

The lack of water also co-incides with increased development and more tourists arriving each year.

Now the Director of the Phuket Provincial Irrigation Office, Somsawat Chaisinsod, is calling for province administrators and the Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority to begin water saving campaigns as the annual heavy rains in October may not arrive or be less frequent. The suggestion of water ‘restrictions’ was not mentioned in the meeting.

At a meeting attended by Phuket’s Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana, Mr. Somsawat claimed that the island’s annual rainfall, for the first seven months of 2019, has only been 10% less than average.

But the dams are a LOT more than 10% lower in capacity. In the case of the Bang Neow Dam in Srisoontorn, it’s virtually empty.

A representative from the PWA said that the Authority is currently buying 45,000 cubic metres of water per day from undisclosed “private sources” to top up the island’s potable water needs.

“The PWA is in the process of securing water supply from a new supplier to improve the water supply and reduce the volume of water drawn from the dams.”

Meanwhile Prapan Kanprasang, chief of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation in Phuket, told The Phuket News he “believes Phuket has enough water to the island through the next dry season, after the annual rains cease early November”.

“We have enough water to use.”

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