Wildlife hunters must face justice

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Re: Wildlife hunters must face justice

Post by caller » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:52 am

The BP are already raising concerns about the investigation.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opi ... f-slippage
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Re: Wildlife hunters must face justice

Post by Nereus » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:57 pm

Animal cruelty added to Premchai hunting case

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/crime/ ... nting-case

KANCHANABURI: Park officials have added animal cruelty to the charges against construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta, who was arrested early this month for allegedly hunting wildlife in a World Heritage forest.

Pol Maj Gen Krisana Sapdej, deputy commissioner of Provincial Police Region 7, said officials of the Western Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary filed the complaint of animal cruelty on Monday.

As the whereabouts of Mr Premchai, president of Italian-Thai Development Plc, were not known, police would send a summons this week for him to report and acknowledge the new charge, he said.

Cruelty to animals carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail and/or fine of 40,000 baht.

Mr Premchai and three others were arrested on the night of Feb 4 when park rangers also found the carcasses of an endangered black Indochinese leopard, a protected Kalij pheasant and a barking deer near his camp in a no-camping area.
Earlier reports said they cooked and ate the meat. Eight bullet holes were later found in the leopard's skin. The suspects were each released on bail of 150,000 baht, with no ban on leaving the country, and ordered to appear in court again on Feb 17.

The 63-year-old construction tycoon and his three companions already faced nine charges - including unauthorised hunting in a wildlife sanctuary, unauthorised hunting of protected wildlife, unauthorised possession of wildlife carcasses, and attempted hunting in a wildlife sanctuary.

Other charges were taking firearms into a wildlife sanctuary without authorisation, hiding illegally acquired wildlife carcasses, unauthorised entry into a wildlife sanctuary, unauthorised possession of hunting tools and unauthorised possession of guns and ammunition in the park, along with attempted bribery.

On Tuesday officials of the Western Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary handed a Toyota Land Cruiser of the 30th Anniversary edition to police for further examination.

The officials on Feb 6 impounded the four-wheel-drive vehicle Mr Premchai's group used it to enter the wildlife sanctuary.

Wildlife protection officials continued to search their illegal campsite for more evidence on Tuesday.
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Re: Wildlife hunters must face justice

Post by Nereus » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:04 pm

Police: Premchai's firm encroaches on forests

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/genera ... on-forests

Italian-Thai Development Plc president Premchai Karnasuta has allegedly encroached on some 6,000 rai of forest land in Loei province, according to police.

Thai media reported on Tuesday deputy police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul was in Phu Rua and Dan Sai districts in the upper Northeast to check on his land holdings after he had information Mr Premchai might have encroached on forest land.

He found Mr Premchai had three businesses in the province. Chateau de Loei is a winemaker and Phu Rua Vanothayan is a vineyard in Phu Rua while Rang Yen Resort is in Dan Sai.

According to police, Mr Premchai owns 147 plots totalling 6,215 rai of land through C.P.K. International Co Ltd in the form of Nor Sor 3 Kor land rights documents.

In 2003, the documents were revoked and the company applied for a concession to replace them as allowed under Section 12 of the Land Act for 6,229 rai to grow crops and flowers.

Before the application was approved, the company withdrew its application following the news that land titles would be given out for 679 rai adjacent to his land. Six of the 679 rai was part of the land it occupied.

The company applied for a concession again for 6,215 rai and once more withdrew the application because of the news of more land titles would be given out this year.

Pol Gen Srivara said aerial photos show the company had farmed on 6,215 rai since 2003 even though the Nor Sor 3 Kor land documents had been cancelled and no concession had been approved.

“Farming on the land is tantamount to encroaching on forest land under the forest, land and environment laws,” Pol Gen Srivara said.

The damage to the state is estimated at 600 million baht, he added.

The Royal Forest Department and the Lands Department have also filed complaints against the company while Mr Premchai is involved as a director.

On Feb 4, Mr Premchai, together with three others, was caught with carcasses of animals of endangered species and several firearms in a prohibited area of the World Heritage Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary in Kanchanaburi province.

He was charged with hunting animals of endangered species, hunting in prohibited areas and possession of firearms. He denied the charges.

The deputy police chief said he would check Mr Premchai’s land holdings in other provinces as well.
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Re: Wildlife hunters must face justice

Post by Nereus » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:51 pm

It's not surprising that people like this get away with offences when you read reports like this:
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Court dismisses Premchai special treatment rumours

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/crime/ ... nt-rumours

Construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta will be required to appear in court late in March since he has benefited from a relaxed rule of the Thong Pha Phum Court.

Suriyan Hongwilai, spokesman of the Court of Justice, explained the procedure on Friday, apparently in a bid to quell rife speculation Mr Premchai might be enjoying a special treatment when he was not required to appear in court in 12 days like other suspects.

Mr Suriyan explained that by law police might prolong the detention of a suspect for seven periods of 12 days each.
As police sought the first detention period for Mr Premchai and three other suspects on Feb 6, they would normally be required to appear in court again on Saturday.

However, the Thong Pha Phum Court was an exception since it has relaxed its rule on reporting during police interrogation since 2013. The reason was that most suspects in the tourist town were not local people, Mr Suriyan said.

"If suspects were to report themselves every 12 days, it would be a waste of time and cause them to lose incomes," he said.

The Thong Pha Phum Court now requires all suspects to show up in court from the 4th detention request onward and every suspect is treated the same way.

“Based on this rule, Mr Premchai is required to appear in court for the first time on March 26,” Mr Suriyan said.

The 63-year-old president of Italian-Thai Development Plc was arrested with three other people in a no-camping area at the Western Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary in Thong Pha Phum district of Kanchanaburi on Feb 4. Seized from them were long-barrel guns and ammunition.

Later, park officials found hidden carcasses of wildlife, including that of a bullet-ridden black leopard. Earlier reports said they hunted wild animals there to eat the meat.

The court later approved their detention during police interrogation but released them on bail on a bond of 150,000 baht each.

The four suspects faced numerous charges relating to wildlife, forest, weapon and cruelty-on-animal laws. They denied the charges.

Police later searched Mr Premchai's house in Bangkok and found many long-barrel guns and two pairs of elephant tusks which were being examined to find their place of origin.
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Re: Wildlife hunters must face justice

Post by hhinner » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:32 pm

He's obviously a poor billionaire - only one house? I wonder what might be found if he were to have other properties.

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Re: Wildlife hunters must face justice

Post by Nereus » Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:28 pm

I must remember to keep a copy of this in case I get "invited" to visit the BIB.
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Premchai again 'too busy' to see police

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/crime/ ... see-police

Accused poacher Premchai Karnasuta, one of the wealthiest men in Thailand, has managed to postpone his meeting today with police interrogators in Kanchanaburi province until March 5. His lawyer said he was far too busy to attend.

Police in Kanchanaburi had ordered him to show up on Thursday, Feb 22, to acknowledge the additional charge of cruelty to animals. It was the second summons for the charge. The first meeting he was summonsed to was for Feb 15. He did not appear.

Pol Maj Gen Krisana Sapdej, deputy commissioner of Provincial Police Region 7 who is leading the investigation, said Mr Premchai's lawyer told police on Thursday that his client and the three other suspects were too busy and wanted to delay the meeting to March 5.

Police would seek warrants for their arrest if they failed to report to police then, the deputy commissioner said.

Kanchanaburi police earlier pressed nine charges relating to hunting in a wildlife sanctuary against Mr Premchai, 63, president of Italian-Thai Development Plc, and three other members of his party. They have all denied the charges.

They were arrested on Feb 4 in a no-camping zone in the western part of the Thungyai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary, a world heritage site in Kanchanaburi, after they were found in possession of the carcasses of nine protected wild animals.

These included an endangered black Indochinese leopard, its pelt riddled with bullet holes, a Kalij pheasant and a barking deer. They also had three long-barrelled guns and ammunition.

The four suspects were released by the court on Feb 6 after they posted bail of 150,000 baht each. They are due to appear in court again on March 26.
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Re: Wildlife hunters must face justice

Post by Nereus » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:00 am

I suppose that this is the first of more to come:
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Animal cruelty charge against Premchai dropped

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/crime/ ... lty-charge


A charge of cruelty to animals against construction tycoon and accused poacher Premchai Karnasuta was withdrawn on Friday, but other cases are moving ahead, including a possible new complaint of forest encroachment.

The cruelty charge was dropped a day after the Italian-Thai Development chief failed for a second time to show up for a meeting with police in Kanchanaburi. He was too busy, his lawyer said. He still faces numerous other charges related to the poaching incident that has outraged the public.

Srivara Rangsibrahmanakul, the deputy national police chief, said officials of the Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary in Kanchanaburi withdrew their complaint of cruelty to animals against Mr Premchai.

Meanwhile, forestry officials are taking a closer look at a property owned by Mr Premchai in Loei province. Somboon Theerabunditkul, the northeastern forest protection chief of Royal Forest Department, led an inspection of Rungyen Resort in tambon Rong Chik of Phu Rua district on Friday.

He said officials found three plots totalling 258 rai in a forest being used to support the operations of the resort. A reservoir and surrounding road occupied 249 rai, macadamia trees covered six rai, and a three-rai plot accommodated an electricity generator, a cellular tower and a water tank for the resort, Mr Somboon said.

Access to the sites was blocked with checkpoints and locked gates that are now deserted, he added. A forestry official has already filed a complaint of additional forest encroachment.

The 63-year-old executive and three others were arrested in a no-camping zone at the world heritage Thungyai Naresuan sanctuary in Thong Pha Phum district of Kanchanaburi on Feb 4. They were found in possession of the carcasses of nine protected wild animals.

The animals included an endangered black Indochinese leopard, its pelt riddled with bullet holes, a Kalij pheasant and a barking deer. They also had three long-barrelled guns and ammunition.

The four faced nine charges relating to hunting in a wildlife sanctuary and having weapons there. They have all denied the charges.

They were released by a local court on Feb 6 after they posted sureties of 150,000 baht each. They are due to appear in court again on March 26.

Mr Somboon said the three new plots were addition to 6,229 rai of forest land illegally used by Rungyen Resort. The resoprt is owned by CPK International Co, of which Mr Premchai is a board member.
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Whats the bet that this is used to get him off on a "grandfather clause":
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Poachers can face 14 years' jail when new law passed

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/genera ... recent_box

Poaching cases will be met with harsher penalties by year-end as the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) plans to pass amendments to a wildlife protection law this year, officials said on Friday.

Sompong Thongseekem, a senior forestry official at the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), said the new penalties will be among a series of changes to the Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act, BE 2535 (1992), one of several environmental laws awaiting NLA approval.

One of the penalties to be revised concerns the hunting and killing of protected wildlife. The current law provides a maximum jail term of seven years and/or a fine of up to 100,000 baht. Mr Sompong said the amended law will double this.

The DNP suggested the revision last year and the amended draft has already been vetted and forwarded to the NLA.

"We hope that these harsher penalties will discourage poachers or traffickers from committing such crimes, the way ivory distribution decreased exponentially after comparable amendments were made in 2015, enforcing hefty fines," Mr Sompong said at a seminar held at Chulalongkorn University's Faculty of Law.

He also discussed the first law concerning ivory taken from elephants, which was introduced in April 2015.

This allowed for hefty fines of up to 6 million baht against smugglers and others involved in the illegal ivory trade, up from just 40,000 baht before.
Mr Sompong said this has helped curbed the ivory trade, deterring smugglers who view Thailand as a transit hub and gateway to lucrative markets like China.

Chatchom Akapin, deputy director-general at the Office of the Attorney-General's International Affairs Department, said yesterday that poaching and crimes against animals remain an "urgent issue" and harsher penalties are needed.

"We are facing pressure from both domestic and international bodies to strengthen our grip on crimes against animals," he said.

"In a legal sense, stronger penalties for these crimes would decrease the likelihood of the criminals being given parole."
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Re: Wildlife hunters must face justice

Post by Nereus » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:14 am

Trespassing charge hangs over Premchai

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/genera ... i#cxrecs_s


Loei: Construction mogul Premchai Karnasuta, the subject of a poaching probe, may face an additional charge of trespassing on a 258-rai plot near a vast tract of forest land his company has been accused of acquiring illegally in Phu Ruea district.

An inspection was carried out yesterday in the area.

Mr Premchai, the president of Italian-Thai Development Plc, is suspected of poaching endangered wildlife at a protected sanctuary in Kanchanaburi.
He is also a board member at PCK International Co, which has been implicated in a forest encroachment case covering more than 6,000 rai near a popular resort.

"We inspected other areas in the vicinity of the disputed plot of 6,229 rai and found three additional plots that have been occupied without the [correct permits]," said Sombun Thirabanditkun, chief of forest protection at the Royal Forest Department.

His team, working in tandem with land officials, found some facilities had been built illegally and were being used on parts of the 258-rai plot.

One area was being used to house a large tank that supplies water to Rang Yen resort, he said. A power generator was also found as well as a pole attached to a phone-signalling device, Mr Sombun added.

Officials also discovered a road that is believed to have been built by PCK on another plot of land, and a macadamia plantation on the other.

Mr Sombun said people had been hired to stand guard at more than 10 "checkpoints" leading to the areas, but on the day of his inspection nobody was there.

"I've told officials to file a complaint with the police," he said, insisting on a need to probe why the land was being used without permission.

According to an initial investigation, PCK came into conflict with the Land Department over a decade ago.
In 2003, the department withdrew all of the title deeds for over 6,000 rai the company had occupied after finding the area was part of a national park.

However, the firm managed to lease it back for agricultural purposes under a deal. When the contract expired, PCK obtained title deeds for 679 rai.

This raised doubts at the Royal Forest Department (RFD), which said the land was part of a protected forest.
It is now preparing charges against three PCK employees who co-signed the land rental contract with the department. The suspects also sit on the company's board.

In another development, police have charged Mr Premchai for illegally possessing weapons, deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said yesterday.

The firearms include a self-assembled air rifle and a 9mm automatic handgun with a 420mm barrel, neither of which is allowed under Thai law, a source close to the investigation said earlier.

During a recent search of Mr Premchai's house officers found a total of 43 guns suspected of being illegal.
Mr Premchai and his three subordinates were earlier charged with nine violations, including unauthorised hunting in the forest refuge.

They were found at a makeshift camping ground with weapons and the pelts of endangered animals including a rare black panther.

Wildlife officials have withdrawn the animal cruelty charge, Central Police Forensic Science Division chief Pol Maj Gen Thawatchai Mekprasoetsuk said.
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