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KRABI: A walled, 100-rai tract of land on Koh Lanta Noi is under investigation after the title holders ordered that hundreds of trees be cut down.

More than 30 officials from the Wetland Development Office (WDO) inspected the site yesterday.

WDO chief Laywisit Baripan said that machines were used to fill up the land after the trees were destroyed.

“A man named Poom Srijan, who works on site, told us that for the past six months he had been employed by a large pharmaceutical manufacturer to guard the land,” said Mr Laywisit.

Mr Poom told officials that the company has six Nor Sor 3 Kor titles for the land which show that there is no evidence of encroachment on preserved forest area.

However, Mr Laywisit said that at least two tracts of land totaling 33 rai have been under inspection since April last year and that the Forest Protection Office (FPO) is awaiting further evidence of ownership from the company.

A month ago, the FPO also contacted the company to examine their ownership documents for other, as yet undisclosed areas of the property.

“We will ensure that the right steps are taken to examine the title deeds in order to clarify whether the company’s actions are legal. It is in process at the moment, so we must wait until it is finalized,” added Mr Laywisit.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong