Two forest officials cleared of wrongdoings for letting Premchai’s party to enter wildlife sanctuary

Head of the Wildlife Conservation Office and chief of Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary have been cleared of any wrongdoings for their roles in allowing Italian-Thai Development Plc Premchai Karnasuta and three other individuals to enter protected forest.

A fact-finding panel of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation has ruled that the two officials, WCO director Ms Kanchana Nittaya and Wichien Chinnawong, the wildlife sanctuary chief, did not do anything wrong as allowing people to visit the wildlife sanctuary was within their authority.

Ms Kanchana contacted Mr Wichien to facilitate Mr Premchai's group to camp inside the wildlife sanctuary on Feb 3-5 for the nature studying purpose. Mr Wichien then notified in writing the head of Protected Area's Regional Office 3 in Ratchaburi province which oversees Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary of Mr Premchai's party's visit.

According to the panel, granting permission for people to get into the wildlife sanctuary and illegal hunting in the case of Mr Premchai and his hunting were two different issues. Moreover, forest rangers had done their job properly in making the arrest of Mr Premchai's party and, hence, the officials were not guilty of dereliction of duty.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)