Operation launched to seize back encroached land built with resorts on Koh Samui and Koh Pha-ngan

A combined force of military personnel, police, local and forest officials launched an operation on Pha-ngan island on Monday to reclaim state land which were illegally occupied and developed into resorts by encroachers.

The operation launch followed investigation reports, showing that about 19 resorts on the island were illegally built on state land.

The combined force inspected the Big Chill resort located on Khao Hin Nok, village on in Tambon Koh Pha-ngan, and found out that there were nine bungalows on a four-rai plot of land, but the resort owner, Mr Thawil Danviriyakul, could not produce any official document to prove his ownership of the land.

Thawil was then charged with encroachment of state land.

Earlier, Mr Prasob Tuaycharoen, a kamnan of Tambon Ban Tai and owner of Rin Beach Resort, was charged with encroachment of state land for building 18 shelters on one-rai plot of land.

Pol Gen Srivara Rangsibrahmanakul, the deputy national police chief, said that the operation was intended to reclaim state land on Koh Pha-ngan and Koh Samui which were encroached and then built resorts on the encroached land.

Similar operation on Koh Samui is due to kick off on Wednesday.

Officials claimed that over 40 resorts on Koh Samui were illegally built on encroached state land.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)