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NCCC to pursue criminal charges against former Phuket Land Registrar



PHUKET: The National Counter Corruption Commission (NCCC) says it will pursue criminal charges against a former Phuket Land Office registrar and a well-known local businessman over an encroachment case dating back to 1997.

NCCC Secretary-General Apinan Issarangkul Na Ayudhaya made the announcement on Tuesday following a meeting in Bangkok.

The commission ruled that former Phuket Land Office Registrar Thawatchai Anukul was at fault for gross dereliction of duty, criminal misuse of power and document forgery.

The ruling follows the commission’s investigation into three Chanote title deeds issued to well-known Phuket land developer Boonkeng Srisansuchart in 2001.

Mr Boonkeng had applied for eight Chanote titles based on a single SorKor 1 title deed covering over 362 rai of land.

The NCCC ruled that a survey of the land specified in the document revealed it to be state forest land.

Two of the title deeds were annulled in November 2005 and the third was ruled invalid on Tuesday.

The commission deemed Mr Boonkeng an accomplice in the case.

The NCCC will forward the case to the Attorney General with the recommendation that he be charged in the Criminal Court, Mr Apinan said.

Thawatchai has been a fugitive since 2003 when the Land Department requested police to pursue his arrest over Chanote titles for a 65-rai plot in Karon and other parcels of land in Phang Nga. The title deeds were said to have been wrongfully issued by the former Phuket Land Office Registrar.

At the press conference, the NCCC also ordered the dismissal of all other Chanote applications lodged based on the fraudulent SorKor 1 document.

Mr Boonkeng also had four land plots seized by the state in June 2004 following a ruling that they had been fraudulently obtained.

Four plots issued to him under SorPorKor 1 land use deeds were returned to the state in September that year following a ruling by the Anti Money Laundering Office.

The Agricultural Land Reform Office (ALRO) ruled that Mr Boonkeng could not occupy the land because he was not qualified to do so. The intended recipients of land under the SorPorKor scheme were landless farmera, and Mr Boonkeng did not fit the category.

For our original report click here.

Mr Boonkeng’s past projects included the Srisansuchart Grandville housing estate on the bypass road in Rassada.


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