Premchai knives spoilt by DNP team

Premchai knives spoilt by DNP team

Artists and animal rights activists take their protest against Italian-Thai Development president Premchai Karnasuta to his office on Thursday. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Artists and animal rights activists take their protest against Italian-Thai Development president Premchai Karnasuta to his office on Thursday. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Knives found at the campsite where construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta and three others were arrested for allegedly poaching wildlife last month were tainted with chemicals making it impossible to collect any human DNA from them, said deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul.

Pol Gen Srivara was speaking before attending a meeting with Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division officials, who are handling the poaching case against Mr Premchai, president of the Italian-Thai Development Plc, and his three associates on charges related to the illegal hunting.

Mr Premchai was arrested along with the trio at a no-camping zone in the Thungyai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary in Kanchanaburi for poaching on Feb 4. They were found in possession of the carcasses of protected wild animals and a black Indochinese leopard pelt.

Pol Gen Srivara reportedly instructed the police to expedite efforts to examine forensic evidence collected from the scene and to question more witnesses so as to make the investigation summary watertight.

The deputy police chief said investigators yesterday summoned Chaiwat Limlikit-aksorn, head of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation's (DNP) special taskforce centre on forest protection, and other officials, for questioning.

They will be asked for details regarding how each piece of evidence was recovered, he said.

He said forensic officials attached to the DNP confirmed the DNA of the black leopard was found on two pocket knives, a chopper knife and a cutting board recovered from the campsite.

The forensic team attached to the Royal Thai Police, however, stated they were unable to extract human DNA from the knives due to chemicals used by the DNP forensic officials to extract the leopard DNA, Pol Gen Srivara said. Police have not yet received the cutting board for examination.

The investigation could be concluded and sent to prosecutors by March 24, according to Pol Gen Srivara.


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