Move is under way to wrestle back huge land plots in Loei from the Karnasuta family

Loei provincial governor has set up a committee to investigate the illegal occupation of over 6,000 rai of forested land in Phu Rua and Dan Sai districts allegedly by a Karnasuta family-owned company, CPK International.

The probe team was given 15 days to come up with a report.
In the meantime, the Forest Department is mulling a K 620 million baht civil lawsuit against CPK International for the illegal occupation of the land in Phu Rua and Dan Sai districts.

According to Mr Atthapol Charoenchansa, deputy director-general of the Forest Department, a total of 147 land plots covering over 6,000 rai of land are located in national forest reserves namely Phu Mee, Phu Khee Nark and Phu Puei which were occupied by CPK International.

With the help of some corrupt land officials in Loei, CPK International were issued with Nor Sor 3 Kor land rights certificates for the 147 land plots – many of which were bought from local villagers who had encroached on the land. However, all the land rights certificates for the land were revoked in 2003 after it was discovered that the Sor Kor 1 land certificates which were used as basis for the issuance of Nor Sor 3 Kor certificates were for other land plots.

In 2009, CPK International applied for a concession to use the 6,000 plus rai of land for agriculture. But the company withdrew the application after it was learned that land officials would survey the land in order to issue land right certificates.

Two years afterward in 2011, the company applied for land title deeds for the same 147 plots of land with the Loei land office. Land title deeds were granted for 38 land plots covering 679 rai of land.

Mr Atthapol said that the 6,000 rai of land – some of which illegally occupied by CPK International despite the fact that all its land rights certificates were revoked in 2003 – are watershed areas which are ecological sensitive and need to be protected.