Srivara: Sanctuary chief may face disciplinary punishment for not collecting entry fee

The chief of the Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary may face disciplinary action for not collecting entry fee from Italian-Thai Development Plc chief executive and president Premchai Karnasuta and his hunting team, Royal Thai Police deputy commissioner Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said on Friday (Feb 9).

Pol Gen Srivara, who questioned the wildlife sanctuary chief Wichien Chinnawong on Thursday, said Mr Wichien admitted that he did not collect entrance fees from Mr Premchai and his team for entering the wildlife sanctuary.

Under the regulation of the wildlife sanctuary, each person had to pay 20 baht as entrance fee, plus 30 baht for vehicle. In total Mr Premchai’s group had to pay 110 baht, but the team was exempted from the fee, Pol Gen Srivara said.

However, the wildlife sanctuary chief could exempt fee collection for visitors who seek permission to enter the area for research or nature study purposes, but the written permission needed to be obtained in advance.

Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary chief Wichien Chinnawong

Pol Gen Srivara said in Mr Premchai’s case, the group did not seek permission through normal procedure, but they were allowed to enter the wildlife sanctuary on Feb 3 upon discretion of Mr Wichien.

He said the police would forward the finding to the director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and plants Conservation for consideration.

It was up to the department to consider if they would take any disciplinary action against Mr Wichien, Pol Gen Srivara said.

Commenting on allegation that Mr Premchai’s group had attempted to bribe wildlife officials in exchange not not taking legal action against them, Pol Gen Srivara said the wildlife officials involved had lodged complaint with the police against the four suspects for bribery attempt.