Banglamung District Chief Sakchai Taengho led a team to investigate complaints from villagers in Rongpoh that a 900-rai parcel in Moo 4 was being excavated and the soil sold illegally.
Banglamung District Chief Sakchai Taengho (center) questions Nong Plalai Sub-district Council President Banjet Thimthong (right) about what is thought to be illegal excavation of public land.
District personnel arrived to find a truck and backhoe from a company called Jetsermzup, which is owned by Nong Plalai Sub-district Council President Banjet Thimthong.
Sakchai checked with Banjet, who claimed his firm was hired by a company called Ban Rai SR, which claimed to own the land. The 51-year-old president said his firm had excavated in 30 rai of the parcel to build a dam for farmers in the area.
He said the soil dug up mostly was redistributed around the property, but admitted some was sold.
According to Nong Plalai village chief Suthat Butnont the property housed an irrigation ditch where lotus flowers grew along with a retention basin for Moo 3 and Moo 4 residents. As such, he said, it is impossible for anyone to own the land.
Sakchai halted all work on the site and assigned Kochasit Mulsrakhu, the Nong Plalai permanent secretary, to investigate whether a land deed does exist, whether permission for the excavation was obtained and, if so, to void any ownership and work order on the public land.