Wildlife hunters must face justice

Local Hua Hin and regional Thailand news articles and discussion.
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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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Re: Wildlife hunters must face justice

Post by Takiap » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:56 am

So, they intend doubling the sentences, from a maximum of 7 years to a maximum of 14 years, and from a fine of 100,000 to a fine of 200,000.

The problem with this approach is that it basically does nothing to stop the rich and wealthy, who, as we all know, will always get a fine rather than jail time.


When you are a multi millionaire, 200K is nothing, so the threat of such a fine is no deterrent at all. If you want to make potential poachers think twice, then the punishment for poaching must outweigh any possible reward. Perhaps the authorities would achieve better results if sentencing began with a minimum sentence of 10 years inside., with no option to pay any fine.

Personally, I think all poachers, if/when caught red handed, should be shot on site by park rangers.


In my opinion, if you have any sort of desire to go out and kill for pleasure, then you are a pretty sick and demented individual.


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Re: Wildlife hunters must face justice

Post by Nereus » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:37 am

Premchai's gun killed rare leopard, forensics say

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/genera ... ensics-say

A forensic examination shows that the weapon used to kill a rare black Indochinese leopard in Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary in Kanchanaburi in February belongs to construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta.

"The evidence shows that the gun that killed the black leopard belongs to Mr Premchai. But I have not said that he killed it. We need to investigate further to find out who pulled the trigger," said Pol Gen Jarumporn Suramanee, a retired police forensic expert who has been invited by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to help in the case.

The Environment Ministry has conducted forensic analysis on guns, ammunition, clothes, cars and camping and hunting paraphernalia collected from the camping site where Mr Premchai, president of Italian-Thai Development, and three other suspects were found with animal carcasses and arrested on Feb 4.

Forensic tests on guns and ammunition indicated the leopard was shot eight times with a short gun. A closer examination revealed the beast was not immediately killed but died slowly, Pol Gen Jarumporn said.

DNA from cigarette butts and guns helped confirm the suspects were present at the hunting scene. The DNA from cooked meat showed that it belonged to a female leopard.

The DNA also showed that Mr Premchai sat in the front of the car, on the left, while a female suspect sat behind him.
Despite the forensic tests not being complete, Pol Gen Jarumporn said he was confident the authorities have enough evidence to bring the culprits to justice.

Environment Minister Surasak Kanjanarat said it was clear the alleged poachers were acting as a team.
"All evidence has increased the solid weight of nine charges against Mr Premchai and the gang. We have tried our best to support the interrogative procedure," Gen Surasak said Wednesday.

According to the 1992 Preserve and Protect Wildlife Act, poachers caught hunting protected wildlife face up to seven years' jail and are liable for a fine of up to 100,000 baht, or both.

Even if only one person pulls the trigger, the criminal code stipulates that other people involved in the crime are considered to be accessories and must face penalties equally.

Also on Wednesday, the disciplinary probe team under the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) concluded that Kanchana Nittaya, director of the Wildlife Conservation Office, and Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary chief, Wichien Chinawong were not guilty of letting Mr Premchai and the other suspects enter the wildlife sanctuary. Despite Mr Premchai not having received a legal permit to enter, the probe team found both officials not guilty in relation to the poaching incident.

Meanwhile, the DNP is set to press charges against Mr Premchai for possessing illegal African ivory, according to DNP chief Thanya Nethithammakul.

Possessing African ivory is illegal under Thai law. DNA collected from ivory tusks confiscated at Premchai's residence showed they came from African elephants, forensic tests revealed on Monday.

In this case, fresh evidence emerged that Mr Premchai's wife, Kanita Wittayanand,falsely declared to the authorities the origin of the four ivory tusks found at Mr Premchai's residence. Ms Kanita registered the four tusks as those of domestic elephants.

As a result, his wife might be charged with possessing protected wildlife parts under the 1992 Preserve and Protect Wildlife Act. The penalty is a maximum four-year jail term, a fine up to 40,000 baht, or both.
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Re: Wildlife hunters must face justice

Post by Nereus » Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:53 pm

Premchai shows up to answer poaching charges

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/crime/ ... ng-charges

Construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta turned up at Thong Pha Phum police station in Kanchanaburi province about noon on Friday to answer multiple charges relating to illegal camping and hunting protected wildlife in the province's world heritage forest early last month.

Mr Premchai, 63-year-old president of Italian-Thai Development Plc (ITD), and his three camping companions were questioned separately at the station. Deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul was also present and had a brief talk with Mr Premchai.

Pol Gen Srivara said all four suspects showed up together and were answering interrogators' questions. Afterwards, they could go home, he said. If interrogators had more questions, they would summons the suspects again.

The deputy national police chief also said he informed Mr Premchai he would be prosecuted for firearms violations and possession of African elephant tusks found at his Bangkok residence. Pol Gen Srivara said he advised Mr Premchai to present any evidence he had related to the firearms and tusks.

Pol Gen Srivara said 70-80% of the answers by the suspects were in accord with accusations made by wildlife sanctuary officials. Investigators were waiting for forensic evidence from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.

He denied criticism that police were delaying the investigation and prosecution.

Mr Premchai earlier postponed reporting to police until March 5 after getting a second summons. His presence on Friday was his first public appearance since he was released on 150,000 baht bail by Thong Pha Phum Court on Feb 6.

He and the three other suspects were arrested in possession of guns and ammunition at their campsite in a no-camping area in Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary, a World Heritage site, on the night of Feb 4. Later wildlife protection officials found carcasses of endangered animals including that of a rare Indochinese black leopard and its bullet-ridden pelt. Reports said they had also cooked and eaten parts of the animals.

The other three suspects are Yong Dodkhruea, 65, of Ratchaburi, and Nathee Riamsaen, 43, from Nakhon Ratchasima, both ITD employees; and Thanee Thummat, 56, from Kanchanaburi.

They face 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 are 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.
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Re: Wildlife hunters must face justice

Post by Nereus » Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:42 pm

Probe urged into deputy police chief's 'polite' gesture

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

An activist has urged a disciplinary investigation into deputy police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul after a video clip showed him bow low to the key suspect in the high-profile poaching case.

Srisuwan Chanya, secretary-general of the Constitution Protection Association of Thailand, issued the statement on Saturday, urging the Police Commission to set up a panel to look into Pol Gen Srivara’s behaviour.

The clip took place at Thong Pha Phum police station in Kanchanaburi province on Friday when Mr Premchai turned up to answer multiple charges relating to illegal camping and hunting protected wildlife in the province's world heritage forest early last month.

The clip shows Mr Premchai gave Pol Gen Srivara a wai. Pol Gen Srivara first returned the gesture with a regular wai but a few seconds later he repeated it by bowing low to Mr Premchai.

His gesture drew heavy criticism as social media users questioned whether it was appropriate for a high-ranking police officer to pay such high respect to a suspect. They found it unusual and wondered whether he treated other suspects the same way.

“Up until now, he acted tough toward suspects and always said he would follow the letter of the law. For instance, he opposed bail for the activists protesting near the MBK mall. But in Mr Premchai’s case, he did not object it even though the offences also carry heavy punishments,” Mr Srisuwan noted.

He questioned whether Pol Gen Srivara might have violated the 2010 Police Code of Ethics and Morality on discrimination.

“We would like Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, the Police Commission and police inspectors to set up a panel to look into this case,” he said.
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Re: Wildlife hunters must face justice

Post by Takiap » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:06 am

5555555, the second photo in the BP article is priceless.

When a few tourists were arrested a short while back for feeding fish in a national park, I'm sure they would have been shown the same level of respect :lach: :lach: :lach:
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Re: Wildlife hunters must face justice

Post by Nereus » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:49 pm

Black leopard soup confirmed in poaching case

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

Expert analysis has confirmed that meat and bones from a black leopard were found in a pot of soup at the illegal campsite of Premchai Karnasuta and his companions in a wildlife sanctuary in Kanchanaburi.

The confirmation emerged as the public outcry builds over the delay in the police investigation into the poaching charges against the construction magnate, with more leopard graffiti appearing on walls and public screens and leading celebrities appearing with symbolic black crosses on their palms.

With the eyes of society now firmly on the police promise to act against the suspects in a straightforward way, Mr Premchai's wife also faces a charge of illegal possession of the four African elephant tusks found at their Bangkok mansion.

The Italian-Thai Development Plc president and three associates were arrested on the night of Feb 4 on suspicion of hunting in Thungyai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary, a world heritage forest in Kanchanaburi.

Wildlife officials found the carcasses of protected species, including the pelt of a rare black leopard, near their camp, and beside their tent a cooking pot containing soup.

Pieces of meat, two leg bones, intestine and hair found in the soup have now been confirmed by experts to be from a black leopard, deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said. The tests were made by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.

He said it was a female leopard.

Examination of a chopping block and knives found in the suspects' camp had also found DNA from a female leopard.

"It's the same leopard in the soup," Pol Gen Srivara said.

Other carcasses were confirmed to include a silver pheasant and a wild boar, not a barking deer as earlier thought.
Pol Gen Srivara said this evidence backed up the charges against the suspects.

A claim that the black leopard carcass had been bought from a villager was not logical, he said. The nearest village was about 50 kilometres away and it was difficult to get to it.

Mr Premchai and other three suspects still deny the charges against them, which include illegal hunting and possessing firearms in a sanctuary.

The case has sparked a fierce outcry from environmental groups, celebrities and the public in general.

The removal of black leopard graffiti from a wall on Sukhumvit soi 58 by an unidentified man last Saturday only led to a new leopard painting appearing later on the same wall. It also prompted Call for Animal Rights Thailand to encourage artists and householders to join hands in a new graffiti campaign.

"Please, privileged people, don't underestimate social pressure," the group posted. "We'll not let this removal [of the graffiti] simply come and go."

In Songkhla's Hat Yai district, pictures of a black leopard have been also seen on a giant LED screen used for advertising at an intersection near the downtown area, Prachachat Turakij newspaper reported.

Actresses, actors and singers have also appeared with black crosses painted on their palms, joining the chorus of protest against poaching. The symbol had been shown earlier by animal welfare advocate Chonlada "Ke" Mekrati who joined the Seub Nakhasathien Foundation in calling on police to speed up their investigation in the Premchai case and take it to court.

Pol Gen Srivara also said Mr Premchai's wife, Khanita Witthayanan, will be summonsed to acknowledge a charge of illegal possession of African elephant ivory.

The four tusks were earlier claimed to be from Thai Asian elephants, but a DNA test found the opposite.

Ivory from foreign elephants cannot be registered under Thai law.
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Nereus
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Re: Wildlife hunters must face justice

Post by Nereus » Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:16 pm

Tycoon Premchai faces bribery charge

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/genera ... ery-charge

Construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta faces an additional charge of bribery for offering officials "anything you want" in return for his release after he was detained in a high-profile wildlife poaching case in Kanchanaburi.

Police investigators are preparing to summon him to acknowledge the new charge next Wednesday, deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said Thursday, adding officers will use witnesses' accounts to back up the charge.

He played down Mr Premchai's plan to leave Thailand on Friday as he is not banned from travelling overseas following his temporary release on bail granted by Thong Pha Phum Provincial Court on Feb 6.

The 63-year-old president of Italian-Thai Development, along with three companions, was arrested on the night of Feb 4 at their campsite in Thungyai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary, a world heritage forest in Kanchanaburi.

Wildlife officials, who believed they went hunting there, found carcasses of protected species, and the pelt of a rare black leopard. Near their tent they found a cooking pot containing soup.

It was later confirmed to be black leopard soup. Examination of a chopping block and knives in the camp also discovered traces of the animal's DNA.
The evidence, together with subsequent raids on his mansion in Bangkok for illegal items, implicated him and the other three suspects on nine charges of wrongdoing, mostly related to unauthorised hunting in the wildlife refuge.

A complaint against Mr Premchai over the alleged bribery was filed by Thungyai Naresuan sanctuary chief, Wichian Chinnawong, who led the Feb 4 operation.

He told police on Wednesday his team took the four suspects and the carcasses out of their camp and temporarily held them at a building, which serves as an exhibition and service area for tourists.

During the detention, Mr Premchai allegedly told Mr Wichian: "If you release me, I'll give you anything you want," deputy Counter Corruption Division chief Watcharin Phusit said, referring to accounts given by officials in the arrest team.

"That sentence was an attempt to bribe state officials," he said.

The conversation emerged at a time when eight people, including the suspects and the officials, were in the building. The voice was clearly heard and the light was sufficient to make it clear who was talking, Pol Col Watcharin said.

An audio clip earlier obtained by the media contained dialogue between Yong Dodkhruea, one of the four suspects, and Kitti Sawatsai who is in Mr Wichian's team, but the conversation was not about bribery, he said.

Mr Kitti was the first to spot Mr Premchai's group in the forest.

Pol Gen Srivara said Mr Premchai can continue his trip abroad, but he will have to report to police on March 14.

The suspect can ask to postpone the meeting or he will receive a second summons, the last one before police will ask the court to issue an arrest warrant.

Reportedly Mr Premchai had informed immigration police he would fly to Bangladesh on Saturday in his personal jet and return to Thailand on Sunday.

Mr Srivara said police will also press another two charges -- illegal possession of guns and four African elephant tusks -- against Mr Premchai on Wednesday.
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