Accused poacher Premchai gets 2nd summons

Accused poacher Premchai gets 2nd summons

Accused of poaching and other charges, Italian-Thai chief Premchai Karnasuta is out on bail until March 29.
Accused of poaching and other charges, Italian-Thai chief Premchai Karnasuta is out on bail until March 29.

Police issued a second summons to construction tycoon Premchai cand members of his hunting party inviting him to answer additional charges of cruelty to animals on Thursday.

Pol Maj Gen Kritsana Sapdej, deputy chief of Provincial Police Region 7, said Mr Premchai and three others failed to respond to the first summons last Thursday.

The tycoon's lawyer told police his client had some problems and could not report to investigators, Pol Maj Gen Kritsana said. As such, a second summons was issued for all four to answer the charges at Kanchanaburi police station.

If Mr Premchai fails to present himself again, police will ask the court to consider taking legal action against him, Pol Maj Gen Krtisana said.

Under Thai law, if a person fails to answer summonses repeatedly a warrant will be sought for their arrest.

Thong Pha Phum police have pressed nine charges including poaching against Mr Premchai, 63, president of Italian-Thai Development Plc, and three other members of his hunting party. They have all denied the allegations.

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 carcasses of protected wild animals.

These included a rare black Indochinese leopard pelt reportedly riddled with bullet holes, a Kalij pheasant and a barking deer, as well as three long-barrelled guns and ammunition.

The four suspects were released by the court after they posted bail of 150,000 baht each. They are due to appear in court on March 26.

On Tuesday, a police source said Mr Premchai is also likely to face firearms charges after police determined that at least two of the weapons seized from his house earlier are on a list of banned weapons in Thailand.

Fresh charges are expected.

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