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Premchai defers his meeting with police to March 5


THE EMBATTLED president of Italian-Thai Development (ITD), Premchai Karnasuta, yesterday again sought a postponement of his scheduled meeting with police to March 5 to hear additional charge of cruelty to animals .

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The construction tycoon’s lawyer cited his client’s preoccupation during this period as the reason, Provincial Police Region 7 deputy chief Pol Maj-General Kritsana Sapdech said yesterday.
Although police accepted the plea for postponement and issued the third summons for him to meet officers on March 5, they warned that arrest warrants would be issued for Premchai and the three others if they failed to answer the summons again.
The 63-year-old Premchai and three others were arrested on February 5 for alleged poaching in the World Heritage Thung Yai Naresuan Sanctuary in Kanchanaburi province, and were then freed on bail that will require them to meet court officials on March 26. They had already skipped their previous meeting with police set for February 15.
Meanwhile, Royal Thai Police deputy commissioner Pol General Srivara Rangsibrahmanakul said after a recent meeting of the Counter-Corruption Division (CCD) that the investigators had yet to receive an audio clip, which reportedly incriminated Premchai for alleged attempt to bribe officials. Srivara said if a complaint were formally filed about Premchai’s alleged bribery attempt, an investigation would be ordered, which would conclude in 30 days. An attempt to bribe a state official is punishable with up to five years in prison and/or up to Bt100,000 in fine.
CCD chief Pol Maj-General Kamol Reanracha said sanctuary head Wichien Chinnawong and three officials had postponed their appointment to give information about Premchai’s alleged bribery attempt on March 8 because they were currently preoccupied. Kamol said the audio file of the alleged attempt to bribe would be handled by the Technology Crime Suppression Division, while the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division would be in charge of the overall case investigation.
Srivara said police was currently working on a case of Premchai’s alleged illegal possession of elephant ivory tusks, seized from his Bangkok home earlier this month. They expect to conclude the investigation by the end of March. He said the police inspection of rifles and guns seized from Premchai’s house should be concluded by early March.

Published : February 22, 2018

By : THE NATION