Department of Forestry and allied officials on Thursday seized about 100 rai of land in Phuket’s Koh Lanta that had been encroached upon by parties they described as “too powerful, unfazed by law and willing to threaten authorities with death”.
More than 30 officials from several departments participated in the seizure, led by Wildlife Conservation Department head Sawat Suksiri.
“Locals reported to us that trees were burned and chopped down. They were replaced by oil palms. They have been doing this progressively for at least two to three years, based on the age of the palms they planted,” said Sawat.