Breaking News! Prominent Thai Businessman Premchai Karnasuta Arrested On Charges Of Illegal Hunting In A Wildlife Sanctuary

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Photos from The Wildlife Friends Foundation

The president of one of Thailand’s largest construction companies was arrested on Sunday for hunting protected animals in a wildlife sanctuary.

Dubbed a “master builder of Thailand” in a 2011 Forbes profile, 63-year-old Premchai Karnasuta of Italian-Thai Development was apprehended at The Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary which is listed as a World Heritage Site by the UN cultural agency Unesco.

According to a statement released by Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation, rangers discovered Karnasuta and three others at a make-shift camp in a restricted area along with the skin and carcasses of a black panther, a Kalij pheasant, and a barking deer.

Rifles, a shotgun, and ammunition which were allegedly used by the game hunters were also seized by the authorities.

Yong Dodkhruea of Ratchaburi province, Nathee Riamsaen from Nakhon Ratchasima province, and Thanee Thummat from Kanchanaburi were also among the group claiming to be tourists who used their connections to be granted access to the sanctuary to hunt for pleasure.

As per the Bangkok Post, the four suspects were charged with unauthorized hunting, unauthorized hunting in a wildlife sanctuary, unauthorized possession of wildlife carcasses, illegally bringing hunting tools into a wildlife sanctuary, unauthorized collection of forest products, and illegal possession of firearms.

 

“The Wildlife Friends Foundation applauds the rangers of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife for the swift action taken against these criminal thugs, and wish to remind the public that only a few years ago an old, poor couple were sentenced to over 10 years in jail for collecting mushrooms in a similar area,” stated the animal welfare organization on its website. “We, therefore, expect a similar or much higher sentence in this case.”

The Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary, a protected area in Thailand in the northern part of Kanchanaburi Province and the southern part of Tak Province, is home to wild elephants, tigers, and other endangered species.

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