Italian-Thai Development president Premchai Karnasuta and his driver turned themselves in to the police at the Central Investigation Bureau’s Counter Corruption Police Division (CCPD) on Tuesday morning (March 20) to acknowledge bribery charge.
Mr Premchai and his driver Yong Dodkrua were accompanied by their lawyer to hear the charge after both were accused by the Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary chief of offering bribes in exchange for releasing them over the alleged poaching.
Mr Premchai and Yong denied the charge while the lawyer said he would defend them in the court.
CCPD commissioner Pol Maj-Gen Kamol Rienracha said the suspects were released after acknowledging the charge.
Pol Maj-Gen Kamol added that key evidence to back up the charge were sound clips of Mr Yong talking to Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary chief Wichien Chinnawong after the arrest on Feb 3 and witnesses’ testimonies.
Meanwhile, Mr Premchai’s wife Mrs Khanita Karnasuta and Ms Wandee Sombhum, an official who allegedly falsified documents to allow the tycoon to illegally register African tusks as Asian tusks, reported themselves to the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division this morning to acknowledge charge of illegal possession of wild elephant tusks.
Yesterday deputy commissioner of the Royal Thai Police Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said the investigation into illegal hunting was almost concluded.
He stated that investigators were waiting for forensic examiners to reveal test results on soil samples at the Premchai’s jungle camp to see whether they contained residual black panther blood.
If so, this will contradict the tycoon’s claims that he had not killed a black panther and will further substantiate the case file against him.
Evidence the police already have in hand was enough to incriminate Mr Premchai, Pol Gen Srivara said.
He added that forestry officials have managed to retrieve all parts of the slain black panther, including flesh, bones and skin and these would be sufficient to convict the suspects.
The deputy police chief said evidence obtained so far indicated that the black panther was shot dead and was then
The animal was shot as verified by the bullet wounds and the animal was then disemboweled, Pol Gen Srivara said.
Knives which include hunting knives, cooking knives and cleavers as well as chopping blocks that forestry officials have seized would back up illegal hunting charge against the suspects, he said.