Police search tycoon Premchai's house

Police search tycoon Premchai's house

Police gather in front of the house of construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta in Soi Sun Wichai 3, Huai Khwang district, before entering and beginning a search around noon on Wednesday. (Photo from FM91 Trafficpro Facebook Page)
Police gather in front of the house of construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta in Soi Sun Wichai 3, Huai Khwang district, before entering and beginning a search around noon on Wednesday. (Photo from FM91 Trafficpro Facebook Page)

Police armed with a court warrant on Wednesday began a search of the house of construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta, accused of poaching wildlife in the World Heritage Thungyai Naresuan sanctuary in Kanchanaburi over the weekend.

Police obtained approval for the search of the sprawling residence in Soi Sun Wichai 3 of Bangkok’s Huai Khwang District on Wednesday morning and entered the grounds around noon.

Mr Premchai, 63, is the president of the huge SET-listed construction company Italian-Thai Development Plc (ITD). 

He was arrested in the sanctuary on Sunday night along with three others -- ITD employee Yong Dodkhruea, 65, of Ratchaburi, Nathee Riamsaen, 43, from Nakhon Ratchasima, and Thanee Thummat, 56, from Kanchanaburi. 

Found with them were skinned carcasses of protected wild animals, including a 1.48-metre-long Indochinese leopard, a Kalij pheasant and a common muntjac, also known as a barking deer, as well as three long-barrelled guns and ammunition.

The four have been granted bail by the court with a bond of 150,000 baht each. Police have also sought  court approval for warrants to search the houses of the three alleged accomplices in their respective provinces.  

The four are facing nine charges -- unauthorised hunting in a wildlife sanctuary, unauthorised hunting of protected wildlife, unauthorised possession of protected wildlife carcasses, unlawfully poaching in the wildlife sanctuary, conspiring to hide wildlife carcasses, illegally bringing hunting tools to the wildlife sanctuary, unauthorised entry of the wildlife sanctuary, collecting forest items in reserved forest and illegal possession of firearms. 

Meanwhile, police and forensic officers were heading to the spot where the group camped to collect more evidence, including fingerprints and DNA samples, on Wednesday morning. 


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