The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation will file five charges against Italian-Thai Development CEO Premchai Karnasuta and three other individuals for their illegal hunting in the Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary.
The group was arrested by officials of the department on Sunday at their jungle camp in the western fringe of the game sanctuary. Two rifles, one double-barrel shotgun and several ammunition plus game meat and the carcass of a black panther were found in their camp.
The department's spokesman Mr Sompote Maneerat told the media today (Tuesday) that the department would file five charges against the four individuals, illegal possession of game meat, bringing weapons into the restricted area without authorization and illegal hunting for forest products.
He said that Mr Premchai had denied he hunted in the game sanctuary despite the fact that officials had seized guns, game meat and the carcass of a black panther at their jungle camp.
Mr Sompote further said that he suspected the party's hunting spree was not a sporting exercise, but likely to stem from superstitious belief in the dark power of the black panther.
Mr Tunya Netithammakul, the department's director-general, said that the department had to allow local police in Kanchanaburi province to carry out the interrogation of the four suspects first.
While stressing that the department has to ensure fairness to the suspects, he said he was not worried about the fact that Mr Premchai is a well-known and wealthy businessman as the case will be dealt with in a straightforward manner.
He added that the officials who made the arrest of this hunting party deserved moral support.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)