Illegal wildlife hunting scandal – One year on
The trial of one of Thailand’s top construction tycoons, Premchai Karnasuta, for alleged illegal wildlife hunting moves into its final stage as the Thong Pha Phum provincial court has scheduled the reading of the verdict on March 19, 2019 according to Seub Nakhasathien Foundation chairman Sasin Chalermlarb, who was speaking on the first anniversary of the incident.
In his lengthy Facebook post on the scandal, Sasin said that one panther had been sacrificed in return for the exposure of the dark side of Thailand’s construction mogul, Premchai Karnasuta, who has become best known in Thailand and across the World, not because of his construction empire but for his alleged involvement in illegal wildlife hunting in Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary in Thailand’s western province of Kanchanaburi.
Sasin added that, from the day of Premchai’s arrest by wildlife officials, Thai people have shown they are against his alleged conduct, appreciate the natural abundance of the sanctuary and feel the collective urge to protect the country’s natural heritage.
Apparently addressing his post to Premchai Karnasuta , Sasin wrote “Although one year has passed since the death of a panther, you do not feel repentant and have not attempted to turn over a new leaf. The investigation and the justice process should make you realize that panthers are not for you to hunt in the sanctuary, like it may have been in the days of your father or when you were young, because there are people like Mr. Wichien Chinnawong and his men who dedicate their lives to protecting the sanctuary and its wildlife”.
The well-known conservationist said he regretted that the Italian-Thai boss did not change or repent, but chose to fight the case instead.
Premchai and three other people in the same hunting party, including the guide, a driver and a cook, were hit with multiple charges, including illegal hunting of protected species, the illegal possession of protected animal carcasses and illegal possession of firearms.