Seized Boonkeng land returned to state

BANGKOK: Four plots of land seized from businessman Boonkeng Srisansuchart in June were yesterday handed over to the Agricultural Land Reform Office (ALRO) by the Anti Money Laundering Office (AMLO) in Bangkok.

AMLO confiscated the land – off the bypass road around Panturat Hill – after the Phuket Appeal Court ruled that K. Boonkeng had wrongfully obtained it.

AMLO Deputy Secretary Pol Col Yuthaboon Disamarn told the Gazette yesterday that his office had confirmed that all four plots were SorPorKor land. This is land owned by the state but allocated to poor, landless farmers for use in providing for themselves and their families.

“Boonkeng was not entitled to occupy this land because the Appeal Court judged that he is not a farmer, as defined by the law on SorPorKor land,” said Col Yuthaboon. “The land is being returned to the state, to the control of ALRO.”

It has been alleged that, in 1983, a provincial vice-governor allowed K. Boonkeng to take out a 30-year lease on the four plots, totalling 76 rai and comprising forest and agricultural land. K. Boonkeng was said to be planning to use the land to collect water for a development of prestige homes, but the properties were never built.

He is accused of obtaining Chanote or NorSor3Gor titles to the land with the help of corrupt staff in the Land Office.

Col Yuthaboon said, “AMLO is continuing to investigate K. Boonkeng’s landholdings and continues to confiscate sites. We are also investigating allegations of corruption within the land office.”

He said that AMLO had already confiscated assets worth around 30 million baht from former land officers accused of producing fake land papers.

Phuket News
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