The Royal Forest Department (RFD) has filed three more legal complaints against Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP) MP Pareena Kraikupt, after it was found that Pareena’s Khao Son Poultry Farm encroaches on around 665 rai of protected forest land.
The RFD filed their complaints with the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Division last week, after the Office of the Council of State informed the RFD that 682 rai of Pareena’s land has yet to be declared reform land by the Agricultural Land Reform Office (ALRO), and the RFD’s survey of the Khao Son Farm found that the farm encroaches on protected forest land.
Pareena was previously accused of encroaching on about 1700 rai of national park land in Ratchaburi, where she operates a poultry farm. Subsequent surveys showed that 682 rai of her land had been declared reform land by the Agricultural Land Reform Office (ALRO) and 46 rai was forest reserve land. As for the remaining 1000 rai, her father claimed the family never had that much land, and she later asked the NACC for permission to change her asset declaration to exclude the 1000 rai, claiming there was a misunderstanding.
The RFD also previously filed a legal complaint against Pareena for encroaching on 46 rai of protected forest land. The penalty for encroaching on forest land is 4 – 20 years in prison for plots over 25 rai and 1 – 10 years for smaller ones.
Pareena’s land scandal raised questions among the public when, in January 2020, she was formally appointed to the Parliament Standing Committee on Corruption and Misconduct. Many asked whether there were double standards in the authorities’ handling of the accusations against Pareena, whether legal action will be taken against the rich and the powerful, and how a “corrupt” MP could be appointed to the Standing Committee on Corruption.