Police threatened by local mafia in reclaiming Lipe Island land

POLICE on Lipe Island off southern Satun province are battling against local influential people in reclaiming a 10-rai police station land plot, Thai News Agency said today (Nov. 13).

Pol. Gen. Virachai Songmetta, the deputy commissioner of the Royal Thai Police, said the island’s police station has asked for and obtained the 10-rai plot from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation in 1989 to build a police operations center and accommodations plus use it as a center for sea rescues.

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However a financier and resort owner, Mrs Nattaya Samarnnukul, encroached on the plot and built a resort on 9.5 rai leaving only 200 square wah for the police station to use.

Mrs Nattaya even sued the police for encroaching on her land saying her ancestors used it for decades but Pol. Gen. Virachai said it is questionable how she obtained the title deed with satellite images clearly showing no utilization of the plot before this police station was built.

Land Department officials in Satun will today measure the 10-rai plot with police intending to take both civil and criminal action if it is found to be illegally encroached upon.

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Pol. Gen. Virachai admitted that influential people in the area had threatened the police over this land plot and had tried to close the island and drive police officers away.

He has found out that a former senior official at this province is helping the financier in every way.

Provincial police investigators have been told to summon officials for questioning about this case and if any are found to be linked to it they will face legal action.


Top: The resort built on 9.5 of the 10 rai plot the police station on Lipe Island had been allowed to use. Photo: Thai News Agency

First in-text: The beautiful Lipe Island. Photo: Thai News Agency

Second in-text: Police inspecting the 10-rai land plot which they say has been encroached upon. Photo: Thai News Agency