Cops’ case against alleged panther killer Premchai strong, CEO gets bill for park damage

A Bangkok student protests to draw attention to the Premchai case (left), the CEO leaves court last week (right).
A Bangkok student protests to draw attention to the Premchai case (left), the CEO leaves court last week (right).

The Deputy Commander of the Royal Thai Police voiced confidence that the case against Italian-Thai Development CEO Premchai Karnasutra and three others accused of illegal hunting in Tungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary is strong, but indicated that police are ready to present more evidence if requested by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG).

Deputy Commander of the Royal Thai Police, Pol. Gen. Sriwara Rangsiphramnakul, has explained that the OAG did not return the case file for further information after it was re-submitted on March 22, but rather sent additional questions, stating his own confidence in the strength of the file, reported NNT.

Investigators have filed an additional charge of violating the Customs Department Act against Premchai after he failed to produce any documentation for contraband African elephant ivory found in his home. An assessment by the Customs Department given to police on March 23 indicated the ivory is worth a combined THB4 million (US$128,000).

Yesterday, news broke that Premchai has also been hit with a THB13 million (US$417,000) damage charge from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) over his trip’s negative environmental impact on the ecosystem of the Kanchanaburi wildlife sanctuary.

Pol. Gen. Sriwara announced today that he has ordered all investigation teams to submit their final files to the OAG by Friday.

Premchai and the three other defendants reported to Thong Pha Phum Court yesterday to sign off on their fifth round of detention. They met with court officials for 15 minutes and acknowledged their next appearance on April 9 before leaving without speaking to the media.

Related:

As viral slain panther art mysteriously deleted from Facebook, Premchai travels abroad

Stencil graffiti of silenced black leopard goes viral, then mysteriously disappears

As bribery allegations surface, Prayuth says panther-poaching tycoon will be held accountable if guilty

OPINION: Why students at Thailand’s top uni protesting killing of protected panther matters

Construction tycoon arrested for hunting protected animals

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