Phuket land raids spread, two resorts seized in Krabi land probe

PHUKET: Two beachfront resorts on Koh Si Boya, an island just offshore from Krabi Town and across the bay from Phuket, were raided and seized for allegedly encroaching on a protected forest area.

The Krabi raids come after 366 officials were named to carry out a huge investigation into every plot of privately owned land along the border of Phuket’s Sirinath Marine National Park in Phuket last month.

The first resort to be seized, by about 30 officers in Krabi on Thursday, was the Kohjum Resort, a 15-unit bungalow property covering 5 rai 3 ngarn 4 talang wah, including the pool and walkways.

“There was only a worker present at the resort, who named himself as the resort manager. He said the owner was in Bangkok,” said Krabi Forest Resource Management Director Amnart Soikiaw, who led the raid.

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“We posted a ‘seized’ sign to ensure that the owner presents to us the land ownership document for the site,” he added.

The second holiday venue seized was the Tingrai Bay Resort, which comprises 14 bungalow units, built on 4 rai 3 ngarn and 80 talang wah.

Both resorts are suspected of encroaching on Pah Koh Phu National Forest, explained Mr Amnart.

Three other plots were also seized in the raids.

“We seized five plots covering more than 20 rai with a total value of at least 100 million baht,” Mr Amnart said, adding that his office believes more than 100 rai of the protected forest area is being encroached on.

“The team of officers [who conducted the raid] walked along the beach for another kilometer. There were 10 more bungalows and two luxury homes built on the foothills in the area, covering about 10 rai,” he explained.

“We will continue our investigations and seize any public land that is being encroached on. We will give the owners the opportunity to present their land ownership documents.

“If they do not have proper evidence proving true ownership of the land, they will be charged under Section 25 of the National Forest Act. Then all buildings on the land in question must be pulled down,” Mr Amnart warned.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

Phuket News
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