Thanathorn's mum defends land plots

Thanathorn's mum defends land plots

Somporn Juangroongruangkit, the mother of political activist Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, insists the 2,000 rai of land her family owns in Ratchaburi was legally acquired despite the Department of Land (DoL) ordering the revocation of land titles due to public land encroachment.

DoL deputy chief Somkiat Thanomkitti signed an order on March 29 that revoked 59 Nor Sor 3 Kor papers issued to three family members including Mr Thanathorn, founder of the Progressive Movement group for land in tambons Rang Bua and Dan Thab Tako of Chom Bung district.

A probe found the land sits in a public forest zone declared a forest reserve in 1984, so the land papers are not valid and contravene Section 58 of the Land Code. The holders of the land documents can challenge the revocation order with the Administrative Court within 15 days.

Ms Somporn has since insisted that her family had nothing to do with the issuance of the Nor Sor 3 Kor documents and that the land in question was acquired legally. She said the land documents had been issued since 1978 for the previous owner, which were legally signed by the authorities.

In 1990, then-prime minister Samak Sundaravej suggested Ms Somporn buy the land previously owned by the Mitrphol company, since the company's managing director Kamol Vongkusolkit was also acquainted with her.

Ms Somporn said she had no idea the land ownership might be legally questionable, as she viewed both men as reliable.

Ms Somporn also said the land documents, issued by the DoL, only stipulated that the plots may or may not be part of a public forest zone. The documents were only issued to prevent any lawsuits in the future, as the DoL also had no idea if the plots were part of a public forest zone.

"I occupied these land plots for three decades and had no problems until my son [Mr Thanathorn] pursued his political career. I insist that these plots were acquired legally with complete ownership documents," she said.

"I have no problem with the revocation order and I am delighted to return the titles but it must be proven by law. Do not accuse my family of corruption."

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