Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket corruption probe reveals “hundreds’ of suspicious land titles

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: The investigation by the Office of Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) into illegally issued land titles in Phuket has identified 100 plots that will be investigated thoroughly, but the number could easily double if tip-offs from local informants are accurate.

PACC Secretary General Col Dusadee Arayawuth said that “some” of the 100 plots investigated so far had been cleared and deemed legal, while the remainder were still under investigation.

However, he added that since the probe was launched 10 months ago, his office had been informed of at least 100 more plots worthy of being investigated.

“We have a network of informants in Phuket who tell us that there must be at least 200 plots of land that may be illegally owned. When we first received this information from our sources, we were not convinced. But since coming to inspect for ourselves, we’ve found suspicious land deals every single time,” Col Dusadee said.

“We will investigate every single plot, especially any land owned by, or involving any former or current government officials. We will also check to see where they worked before to check for any previous activities that may be suspicious,” he added.

Col Dusadee explained that the PACC intends to target land that “may have the potential or opportunity to be encroached on by government officials.”

He listed five examples where his team had researched the official records and found the documents “suspicious enough” to investigate:

1. Land ownership documents for 20 rai of land at Laem Mai Ngao in Karon. The PACC is now investigating government officials involved with the issue of the land ownership documents.

2. Land ownership documents for two plots of land at Baan Nakalay in Kamala. The plots now have a hotel and a resort on them. The PACC subcommittee is now investigating this case.

3. Using a SorKor 1 land document for land in Patong to issue a higher-grade land ownership document for 21 rai of land in Kamala. That land now has a hotel under construction on it. As the case involves government officials, it has been handed over to the Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to lead the investigation.

4. A request to survey land in Patong in order to issue a NorSor 3 Gor document was altered in size by including 21 rai of SorPorKor land (land that can be used for only agricultural purposes and remains the property of the government). The case is now being handled by NACC due to government officials’ involvement.

5. Land ownership documents issued for land within the preserved forest area of the Kamala Hills. The case involves an attempt to issue a Chanote land title deed for seven plots of land covering about 300 rai. Col Dusadee inspected the site himself and declared it was within the protected forest area. The case is under investigation.

“There are still more cases in Phuket that we are investigating,” Col Dusadee said.

“We are working contentiously and quickly. We have to show our work to the government so they may see that the budget they have provided us is being used productively. We want to get as much encroached land back as possible.”

“Much of this depends on how much government departments are willing to cooperate. We want their cooperation, especially that of the Land Office, which is under the Ministry of Interior,” he added.

To cut the amount of “red tape” to facilitate a speedy investigation, the PACC on Tuesday signed an agreement to cooperate with the Permanent Secretaries of the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

Also signing the agreement were the Royal Thai Police Department of Special Investigation (DSI), the Agricultural Land Reform Office and the National Anti-Corruption Commission.

“No matter how high ranking they are, if they are found guilty of encroaching on [or assisting others to encroach on] public land they will be prosecuted without exception,” said Col Dusadee.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Expats9 hours ago

List: China has over 50% of all foreign-owned condos in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Government plans 10 million vaccines for July

World14 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Vaccine deaths investigation, PM heads to Phuket, BMA extends vendor licences | June 18

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

Thailand15 hours ago

1 million AstraZeneca doses arrive, Anutin says “more” on the way

Drugs15 hours ago

1.2 tonnes of methamphetamine and heroin seized near Malaysian border

Coronavirus (Covid-19)15 hours ago

Pattaya bars plead for government help

Thailand15 hours ago

Colour-coded zoning revised, restrictions to ease nationwide

Transport16 hours ago

Department of Land Transport will reopen, issue licenses

Best of16 hours ago

Top 8 Things to do in Chiang Mai

Tourism17 hours ago

Krabi schedules 82 flights per week from late October

Best of17 hours ago

Top 6 Online Forums in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)17 hours ago

Friday Covid Update: 3,058 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand17 hours ago

Worker falls off roof in Chon Buri, sustains multiple injuries

Phuket17 hours ago

Talad Kaset market in Phuket reopens

Coronavirus (Covid-19)18 hours ago

PM Prayut tests negative after parliament maid has Covid-19

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Phuket4 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