Illegal resorts in Phetchabun raided by DSI
The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has begun taking action against resorts operating illegally in the forest reserve of Phetchabun's Khao Kho district.
Although military units in the area have lodged complaints against them with police, the resorts have continued to expand their services.
An informed source said the owners were influential figures and that some of them were local politicians.
"We will pursue the cases against them to the end," DSI deputy chief Yanaphon Youngyuen said yesterday.
However, as the prosecution could take some time, he urged people to stop visiting the resorts in question. He was speaking as he led a team to inspect the Khao Kho resorts, whose owners were not present during the inspection.
Colonel Chainarong Klaewkla of the Pha Muang Force said the encroachment on forestland had upset a reforestation project that was launched in response to advice from Her Majesty the Queen.
"We have the list of encroachers' names. There are more than 200 of them. Together, they have invaded over 40,000 rai of forestland. We are going to pass this information to DSI," Chainarong said.
Meanwhile, many people yesterday lodged complaints with that DSI that firms had lured them into buying land plots in the forest reserve.
"Now all my savings are gone for nothing," lamented one of the complainants, Thiranuch Boonyadamrong. She bought her plot under the Diamond Tree Project in 1993.
Another victim, Anan Noprattanotai, said that when the project was promoted, land officials and commercial-bank officials were also present.
"How could we imagine that the project was a scam?" he said.
Yanaphon promised to take legal action against officials found involved in the scam.
He also advised people to check the encroachment map on the DSI website before buying land plots in the Khao Kho area.