Village headman arrested for alleged bomb attack on Phu Thap Boek hill

A former village headman of Phu Thap Boek hill in Phetchabun province was arrested yesterday(Nov 14) for alleged involvement in a deadly bomb explosion on Sept 10.

The explosion left one dead and three injured.

The headman Ma Wongtubberk, however, denied the charges and said he would defend himself in the court.

Royal Thai Police deputy commissioner Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said the arrest of the former village headman of Phu Thap Boek come after several months long of investigation that a conflict between the headman and national park officials is strong motive for the bomb attack over encroachment of the park by resort operators.

He said police were sent to monitor the suspect for a certain period before seeking arrest warrant from Lomsak Provincial Court.

He was arrested as he was about to report himself to the court on a forest encroachment charge case.

He said the police have charged him for murder and for having in possession of explosives.

The deputy commissioner said the court yesterday did not grant him bail upon request by the police who reasoned that he might escape.

He was later remanded at Lomsak prison pending court’s trial.

According to Phu Thap Boek national park officials, 41 resorts have been demolished, and seven are pending court trials.

A total of 103 resorts were reported to encroach on the park. But 50 of them which were originally owned by the Hmong hilltribe people were given reprieve to stay on. Officials plan to explain to these Hmong owners on Nov 22 about the reprieve programme.