PPRP MP Parina under fire for Ratchaburi poultry farm
Undeclared plot is located on state land
The Royal Forest Department (RFD) on Monday confirmed that a 1,706-rai farm run by firebrand Palang Pracharath Party MP, Pareena Kraikupt's family is on Sor Por Kor land — special public plot assigned to farmers to make a living.
Nuntanun Boonyatant, the department's spokeswoman, said the department would now investigate whether any laws have been broken.
The plot in Ratchaburi province is technically classified as Por Bor Tor 5 state land, which locals are allowed to use in return for paying rent. However, the land cannot be owned.
The plot became contentious after opposition parties asked the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to examine accusations that Ms Pareena was both illegally encroaching on the land and had also failed to declare that property in her assets declaration.
The move was perceived as retaliation against the government MP who earlier exposed Somporn Juangroongruangkit, the mother of the leader of the Future Forward Party for illegally owning an area of forest land, also located in Ratchaburi province.
The probe showed that the 1,706-rai plot had been transferred from RFD jurisdiction to the Agricultural Land Reform Office (Alro) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives in 2014, which is when it was designated Por Bor Tor 5.
Deputy agricultural minister Captain Thamanat Prompow said he has ordered Alro to check on the plot which, currently, has a poultry farm owned by Ms Pareena's family operating on it.
Ms Pareena told media that she had not violated any laws and her family has occupied the land since before it was classified as Sor Por Kor land.
"First, it needs to be understood that this plot is state property. The state allows farmers to operate there and pay the Por Bor Tor 5 tax in return. Anyone can occupy this land and make a living on Por Bor Tor 5 land if permitted by the state," she recently told TV news program Jor Lueke Tua Thai [Inside Thailand].
Ms Pareena said her case differed from Ms Somporn's land encroachment.
"Our family just rented a state land plot. Ms Somporn's case is about illegally obtaining state forest that had been given to farmers," she said.
Ms Pareena said she wondered how land that was supposed to be set aside for local farmers in Ratchaburi had ended up being transferred to the mother of a billionaire who lived in Bangkok.