Anti-graft officials probe illegal massive land grab in Loei prvince

A team of anti-corruption officials are in Phu Rua district of the northeastern province of Loei today to investigate an allegation of massive land grab in which land certificates issued in another place were used in the issuance of land certificates in the district.

Altogether 63 plots, covering 2,777 rai of mostly mountainous land in Tambon Pone Soong, Tambon Pla Ba and Tambon Rongchik of Phu Rua district were implicated in the alleged land scam dating back to 1990 when the first land certificate was illegally issued.

An informed source said the anti-graft officials made an inspection trip to Phu Rua last year following reports of alleged illegal land ownerships.  There had been complaints that certificates for these plots of land were not properly issued.   It was later found out that land certificates from Dan Sai district were used as the basis for the issuance of documents of land in Phu Rua district.

It was also discovered that the owners of 32 of the 63 land plots did not have any official documents to prove their occupation of the land, yet they were issued with nor sor 3 kor certificates – which are official documents confirming land rights but short of being ownership.

Mountainous land in Phu Rua is hotly sought by land developers and influential figures because they are ideal for building resorts or second homes for the wealthy.