PHUKET: A Deputy Ministry of Interior arrived on Phuket yesterday to launch a land title deed investigation geared to establish Phuket as a role model for land probes.
“Many plots of land have been acquired through corrupt officials,” Deputy Interior Minister Pracha Prasopdee told the Phuket Gazette
“This investigation, commencing immediately and lasting 30 days, will establish Phuket as a role model for the rest of the country in how to deal with this problem.”
“Due to the revenue Phuket generates for Thailand as a whole, the government corruption that has led to land encroachment on the island has come to the attention of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and the Ministry of the Interior,” Mr Pracha said.
However, the 10 officers promised to spearhead the project with the cooperation of the Phuket Land Office, had, as of yesterday, not yet arrived on the island.
“I received a letter today [March 18] from the Ministry of Interior that promised that 10 Ministry of Interior officers would take charge of the investigation, but the officers have yet to arrive,” Phuket Land office chief Somyot Laochoo confirmed.
Mr Pracha explained that the ministry had identified almost 200,000 land documents (156,853 Chanote; 4,437 SorKor 1
; 26,616 NorSor 3 Kor
; 4,080 NorSor 3
) issued for land in Phuket that is in prohibited areas according to the Thailand Land Code BE 2521.
“We are waiting for orders from the Ministry of Interior on which land title deeds will be investigated,” Mr Somyot told the Gazette
The land investigation will focus on the construction of buildings on the steep hills in Kamala and along the beach, Mr Pracha said.
Mr Pracha also told the press that Phuket Governor Maitri Inthusut had been assigned to take the reins on the issue of investigating land title deeds in Phuket.
“We do not want to harm anybody, but if the land documents are illegal we will take the land back,” he added.