Provincial court convicts four for forging land documents

PHUKET: Four Thais have been convicted for forging land title documents, claiming ownership of more than 400 rai of Sirinath National Park on the northwest coast of Phuket, the Department of National Parks Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) announced yesterday.

The felons face up to 14 years in prison and more than nine million baht each in fines, said DNP Director-General Thanya Netithammakun.

Mr Thanya estimated each rai of the land to be worth 30 million baht.

The Phuket Provincial Court convicted the four for land encroachment last month, handing down prison sentences and fines.

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Ms Anoma Fangsen was sentenced to 14 years in prison and fined more than 9 million baht. Mr Prapas Sae-Ong was convicted in two separate cases. He was handed two 12-year prison sentences and ordered to pay fines totalling 18 million baht. Mr Nakorn Wongsrithong was handed a 13-year jail term and a 9 million baht fine. And Mr Chan Pongpa was sentenced to eight years in prison and also ordered to pay a 9 million baht fine.

Meanwhile, the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) is preparing to conclude investigations into 10 other land encroachment cases dating back to 2012 and involving 600 rai in Phuket (story here).

DSI Deputy Director-General Pong-In Intarakhao said yesterday that officials were close to concluding those cases concerning the following entities: Three Dolphins Co Ltd; The Andaman Private Co Ltd; Anupap Vechwanichsanong; Chomchanok Suthamma; Surachai Laochuasai; Phuket Peninsula Co Ltd; Pinnacle Cape Co Ltd; Phuket Arcadia Co Ltd; The Andaman White Beach Co Ltd; and Central and City Development Co Ltd.

Col Pong-In affirmed that the DSI is willing to reclaim the land for the nation, no matter what.

“The punishments are severe because land encroachment is a big deal. These cases are important, but they take time to process and gather all the evidence. Regardless, the cases will not be dropped and we will do whatever is in our power to conclude them,” he said.

Read the full story in the upcoming June 4-10 issue of the Phuket Gazette.

— Chutharat Plerin

Phuket News

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