11 July 2024

The Royal Forest Department will file charges against Palang Pracharat MP for Ratchaburi province, Ms. Pareena Kraikupt, for allegedly trespassing on national forest reserves in the Chom Bung district of Ratchaburi province.

Armed with a search warrant, issued by the Ratchaburi provincial court, Mr. Thawatchai Latkrood, an inspector for the Royal Forest Department, yesterday (Sunday) led forest officials in a search of Ms. Pareena’s poultry farm in Tambon Rangbua, Chom Bung district.

After about two hours searching the facility, located on 41.4 hectares, Mr. Thawatchai told the media that officials had found that 2.76 hectares, on the left side of the Pachee River, were in national forest reserves.

Ms. Pareena had told the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), in her asset declaration, that she owns 102 hectares of land in Chom Bung district and that she has paid the local land tax, known as the Dokya tax.

Mr. Thawatchai, however, said that officials found only 41.4 hectares, which has been turned into a poultry farm, adding that the MP has to identify to officials the whereabouts of the rest of the land she claimed to occupy.

In the next step, he said his officials will lodge a complaint with Chom Bung police against Ms. Pareena for allegedly trespassing on 2.76 hectares of national forest reserves, the penalties for which are imprisonment for between 2 and 15 years and a fine of up to 100,000 baht if found guilty.

As for the rest of the 41.4 hectares of land, which is Sor Por Kor (land reform for agriculture) land, Mr. Thawatchai said a notification has been sent to Ms. Pareena, by the provincial land reform office, to report to the office by December 4th to verify her occupation of the land.

Normally, a person is allowed to occupy 1.8 hectares under Sor Por Kor program at most and the land cannot legally be transferred.