The Royal Forest Department will file three charges today against Palang Pracharat MP for Ratchaburi, Ms. Pareena Kraikupt, for alleged encroachment on 7.376 hectares of national forest reserves.
The department chief, Mr. Atthapol Charoenchansa, told a news conference this morning that the department had solid evidence to prove that the land, which is occupied by part of Ms. Pareena’s poultry farm in Tambon Rangbua of Ratchaburi province’s Chom Bung district, is situated in a national forest reserve.
Three charges, namely illegal forest encroachment, illegal occupation and utilization of national forest reserves and illegal construction in a national forest reserve, will be filed with officials of the Division for the Suppression of Activities Regarding Natural Resources and the Environment.
Mr. Atthapol maintained that the Royal Forest Department had not dragged its feet in the investigation of this case as alleged, had handled it with fairness and followed the letter of the law.
Earlier last week, Ms. Pareena and her father, Mr. Thawee, a former MP in the same province, vowed to fight the case in court, claiming that she had occupied the land for over a decade without being challenged by officials and that she has paid local taxes for the use of the land.
Ms. Pareena also threatened to file a defamation suit against Mr. Atchariya Ruangrattanapong, a self-styled activist who assists victims of crime.
This morning, Mr. Atchariya accompanied a woman to the Division for Suppression of Activities Regarding Natural Resources and the Environment to file a charge against Mr. Thawee, whom she accuses of illegally seizing her 4.8 hectare plot of land in Suan Poeng district.