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State officials fingered in Loei land grab

State officials fingered in Loei land grab | Bangkok Post: news include javaScript for Ads Banner include javaScript for Ads Banner Place this tag in your head or just before your close body tag begin facebook end facebook Begin comScore Tag End comScore Tag Hotjar Tracking Code for instagram


The Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) has vowed to act against state officials involved in illegally issuing title deeds for 280 rai of land in a mountainous forest in Loei.

Prayong Preeyajit, secretary-general of the PACC, yesterday led a team to inspect land that had allegedly been encroached upon in the Nong Pad mountain forest, known as Phu Poy, in tambon Pla Ba of Phu Rua district.

Citing an earlier probe, Mr Prayong said Nor Sor 3 Kor documents, which certify land use, had been issued for 51 plots covering 2,296 rai of the forest land in 1990.

In 2004, the Department of Land revoked the Nor Sor 3 Kor documents on 49 of the plots, saying no one was found to have really made use of the land, while the certification could not be issued for protected forest in the first place.

But on June 27 the deeds were re-issued on six plots covering 280 rai in the same area, said Mr Prayong, adding the land parcels were sold to one person just three days later.

The land was divided into six plots of roughly 50 rai each, due to restrictions under Section 58 of the Land Code, he said. According to the section, the issuance of title deeds for land exceeding 50 rai needs prior approval from the provincial governor.

Some whose names appeared as land owners said they were not aware they owned the plots. Authorities suspect state officials had put down their names as owners without permission, said Mr Prayong.

He said local authorities will investigate how the title deeds came to be issued. If state officials had a hand in the wrongdoing, the offences must be reported, he said.

Tough measures against the culprits will help ward off efforts to illegally issue more deeds on the protected land, he said.

Phu Rua district chief Kttikhun Butkun said Wat Pa Phu Rua was found to have occupied one or two plots out of the six in question.

A road leading to the temple is also under construction.

Piyaphum Thawilprai, a land officer in Phu Rua district, said he had not had a chance to inspect the land, as he had only just been transferred to the office, two days after the title deeds were issued.

Lt Col Thinnapan Pakkaew, chief of the land encroachment inspection unit attached to the Internal Security Operations Command's Loei office, said he suspected 3,000 rai in the protected forest is also being encroached upon.

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