Probe launched into foreign farms on state borderland

Breaking News August 16, 2017 15:24

By The Nation

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has launched a probe into allegations that Chinese investors in collaboration with Thai partners have acquired state land plots without proper permission.

The plots cover about 1,200 rai (192 hectares) of land in Kanchanaburi province’s Makham Tia district. 

“We have received a complaint, so I am here to investigate,” DSI deputy chief Pol Lt-Colonel Prawut Vongseenin said in Kanchanaburi on Wednesday. 

The inspection found that land plots used for dragon-fruit farming had been initially assigned to the 9th Infantry Division.

“Given that these land plots are located in a border zone, this case may affect national security,” Prawut said. 

He added that the dragon-fruit farm also threatened the local environment, given that foreign investors often relied heavily on chemicals to boost yields. 

“About 80 local families have said that they are suffering from water shortage because the investors have had a big pond dug in their farmland,” Prawut said. 

He added that foreigners were not allowed to engage in agricultural operations. 

“I will have a meeting with relevant authorities to discuss the matter,” he said.

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