CONSTRUCTION TYCOON Premchai Karnasuta who was arrested at a restricted zone of Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary in Kanchanaburi province on Feb. 5, 2018 with carcasses of protected wildlife and guns and ammunition at his camp was this morning (Dec. 8) sentenced to two years and six months in jail by the Supreme Court, TV Channel 7 and Matichon newspaper said.
Premchai, president of construction giant Italian-Thai Development Plc, and three accomplices had been arrested by Mr. Wichian Chinnawong, head of the world heritage site, who found a Kalij pheasant, a red muntjac – or barking deer – and the skinned remains of a black leopard plus guns and ammunition at the camp.
At 9 a.m. this morning Thong Pha Phum Provincial Court read the Supreme Court’s verdict and aside from the two years and six months in jail without parole Premchai was ordered to pay 2 million baht in damages.
Others caught with him – his driver, cook and his hunting guide – were also sentenced. Mr. Yong Dodkrua, the second defendant, to two years and nine months, Ms Natee Riamsaen, third defendant, had not petitioned the Supreme Court after being granted probation, and Mr. Thani Thummas, the fourth defendant, to two years and 13 months
On March 19, 2019 Premchai had been sentenced by the Thong Pha Phum Provincial Court to 16 months in prison, Yong to 13 months, Nathee four months but this suspended and she was placed on probation for two years plus fined of 10,000 baht, and Thani to two years and 17 months.
Subsequently, on May 24, 2019, the Public Prosecutor of Region 7 High Court filed an appeal and on December 12, 2019, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeal sentenced Premchai to two years and 14 months in jail, Yong to two years and 17 months, Natee to one year and eight months but this suspended and probation earlier granted by the Court of First Instance continued but fine increased to 40,000 baht, and Thani to two years and 21 months.
Italian-Thai Development boss at the hunting camp, top, and at the court today, Home Page. Top photo: BBC, Home Page photos, Matichon