DSI investigates 225 million baht land encroachment in Sirinath National Park

Picture courtesy of DSI

An expanse of land in Phuket, valued at over 225 million baht, is currently under scrutiny for allegedly infringing on the territory of the Sirinath National Park. Police Captain Piya Raksakul, Deputy Director General of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) arrived in Phuket yesterday, intending to examine the situation.

Accompanying Piya was Police Lieutenant Colonel Amorn Hongsritong, head of the DSI’s Bureau of Natural Resources and Environment Crime, along with other Special Case Investigators from the DSI. The team utilised drone technology for aerial imagery of the alleged land encroachment, gathered further evidence, and questioned local officials.

Spanning approximately 15-3-71 rai, the land’s estimated value stands at 15 million baht per rai, thereby amounting to an overall worth exceeding 225 million baht, according to Piya.

“The DSI’s primary concern lies with the protection and preservation of natural resources, particularly in national forest reserves, national parks and public land collectively used by the populace. Our aim is to foster stability and sustainability in the nature economy and tourism.

“The estimated valuation of the land at around 15 million baht per rai brings the total initial value to approximately 225 million baht. This constitutes a significant blow to the country’s economic security.”

The alleged encroachment was initially reported by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) staff who observed that a plot of land had been cleared and seemed to be within the national park’s boundaries in Moo 1, Sakhu.

The DSI reviewed and accepted this complaint as a Special Case on February 15, as recorded in its inspection report issued yesterday.

“The team of officials has examined and found that the land in question overlaps with the area of ​​Sirinath National Park and is situated on ​​public land.”

The individual claiming ownership of the land had submitted SorKor 1 (No. 283) as proof of ownership rights, reported The Phuket News. But the DSI report says the land in question is not the same as in the documents.

“It is believed that the land ownership notification form (SorKor 1) referred to does not correspond with the location of the plot of land at the scene.”

The practice of using a SorKor 1 land document issued for one parcel of land to claim another has a reputation in Phuket, as the devious practice has been abused frequently to attempt land encroachment. The action has earned a nickname, with the practice being referred to as a Flying SorKor.

The DSI has designated the Natural Resources and Environment Litigation Division as the owner of the case. The agency assured that any progress in the investigation will be reported immediately. The encroachment report noted the importance and value of that particular piece of land.

“The incident area is in the national park area and public interest. It is a valuable resource area of ​​the land. It is also close to Phuket International Airport, an important region with high land value and a source of the country’s economy. The gravity of the issue, impacting public order and the people’s good morals, has a significant effect on the economy.”

Phuket News

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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