Fa Prathan Farm, Flora Park in Alro's crosshairs

Fa Prathan Farm, Flora Park in Alro's crosshairs

The Agricultural Land Reform Office (Alro) is speeding up its attempts to file a criminal suit seeking to evict current business operators found unlawfully occupying and making use of two major plots of land designated for poor farmers in Nakhon Ratchasima, according to an Alro source.

Following Agriculture Minister Grisada Boonrach's order made on Dec 28 for Alro to seize the two plots -- close to 400 rai in total, Alro secretary-general Winarot Sapsongsuk had instructed their legal section to speed up its work of filing a criminal suit to seek the eviction of the two operators, said the same source.

The two are the operators of Fa Prathan Farm and Flora Park, said the source.

Aside from seeking a court order to evict the operators from the land, Alro also plans to file a civil suit seeking financial compensation, starting from when they began occupying the land unlawfully between 2010 and 2011, said the source.

Alro also previously sent out a letter to those holding the right to make use of these plots of land to ask why they allowed the two business operators to use the land, said the source.

Aside from these two controversial plots, it was found in a recent survey that Alro owned other plots of land suspected to have been owned by former cabinet ministers who paid farmers, said the source.

Several plots were found to be owned by former agriculture and education ministers through farmers, said the source, adding that one is a plot of a hundred rai situated near the Fa Prathan and Flora Park plots in Nakhon Ratchasima province's Wang Nam Khieo district.

Another plot found to be owned by a former agriculture minister comprises several hundred rai in Nakhon Ratchasima's Si Chon district.

Flora Park on Monday continued normally operating its business and a large number of visitors were seen visiting the park throughout the day, despite a large poster at the entrance to the park that says the land is owned by Alro and nobody is permitted to occupy it.

The poster was installed by Alro and taken down, then reposted after the local Alro office lodged a complaint with police over the missing poster, said an informed source.

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