Foundation demands tycoon's prosecution for hunting
published : 5 Mar 2018 at 14:25
writer: Tawatchai Kemgumnerd
NONTHABURI: The Seub Nakhasathien Foundation is demanding police quickly wrap up their case and recommend prosecution of construction magnate Premchai Karnasuta for illegal hunting of wildlife, with the threat of street protests if they do not.
Foundation president Sasin Chalermlarp told a news conference on Monday the police investigation in the case was progressing too slowly. It was now a month since Mr Premchai and his three companions were arrested in the Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary in Kanchanaburi.
Mr Premchai, president of Italian-Thai Development Plc, and his party were arrested in the world heritage sanctuary in Thong Pha Phum district on the night of Feb 4.
Guns and ammunition were found in their possession, and the carcasses of protected animals, including a rare black Indochinese leopard, near their illegal campsite.
Mr Sasin said Mr Premchai and his followers hid the weapons in their vehicle before entering the sanctuary and illegally setting up their camp on a closed track.
"That shows the group's intention was to enter the forest to hunt, not a nature trip as they claim," he said.
Besides, gunshots were heard from the no-camping area, where the only group found was Mr Premchai's. Officials also found gunshot wounds in the seized carcasses, animal bones in a local stream and food prepared with wildlife meat at their camp, Mr Sasin said.
The case was not complicated and police should quickly conclude their interrogation and investigation, and pass the case to public prosecutors for court trial. There should be no attempt to focus on material evidence that could be changed, Mr Sasin said.
"If the case that police send to court does not include a charge relating to hunting protected wildlife, then we won't have to make any appointment with anyone before coming out and making a demand on the matter.
"A whistle will be blown and people will surely be on the streets again," Mr Sasin said.