Ex-headman arrested for illegal encroachment on Phu Tab Berk

A former village headman was arrested on charge of encroachment of public land in Phu Tab Berk as a combined force of about 100 forest and local officials and military personnel raided his illegal resort on Friday.

The officials laid siege of the resort, Indy Phu Tab Berk, as Lom Kao district chief officer Somluck Yoknoiwong, Colonel Thavirat Youngnoi and Pol Lt-Col Chamnien Kamviset, deputy superintendent of Lom Kao district police and a small number officials moved toward the resort.

The resort owner, former headman Ma Wongtabberk, intervened, claiming he legally owns the land on which the resort is located. He also resisted an arrest.

The officials then showed him an agreement earlier signed between Ma and the Forest Department which bans the construction of any building on the 200-wah land plot. The agreement also prohibits the sale of the land.

However, it was discovered afterward that Ma had allegedly encroached on more land and also built a resort on the land which was considered as defying the agreement. He was then charged with encroachment and illegal possession of public land.

Ma resisted the arrest and challenged the officials to shoot him. But the officials told him they had no intention whatsoever to harm him but would merely make the arrest.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)