The seizure of the forest land was led by Viroj Jiwarangsan, the provincial governor, and Maj Gen Worathat Supattananont, commander of the Loei Military District and chief of the province's peace-keeping force.
The land situated by the Loei - Phu Rua road near Ban Huay Lat in tambon Santom of Phu Rua district had been occupied by Thanpuying Yossawadi Buranasamrit Ampornpaisarn. A resort called Yossawadi Forest Park has been built on the land.
The action was taken because when a committee was set up in 1994 to investigate the legality of seven Nor Sor 3 land right documents for the 350-rai forest land, issued in 1990, the committee found that the issuing of the seven Nor Sor 3 Kor documents was based on Sor Khor 1 and Nor Sor 2 documents which showed that their holders had earlier occupied the forest land straddling Phu Puay, Phu Khi Thao and Phu Rua national forest reserves.
The Sor Khor 1 and Nor Sor 2 documents were found by the committee to have been faked. Therefore, it was concluded that the seven Nor Sor 3 land right documents for the 350-rai forest land had been illegally issued.
The land office of Phu Rua district filed a complaint against the illegal land occupant with the district police station. A letter was also sent to Thanpuying Yossawadi for acknowledgement.
The Land Department later issued an order to revoke the seven Nor Sor 3 Kor documents. Thanpuing Yossawadi petitioned the Administrative Court against the revocation order. The Administrative Court dismissed the petition.
The case was brought to the Supreme Administrative Court, which upheld the lower court's decision.
This led to yesterday's seizure of the forest land by the authorities acting under the policy of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to campaign against illegal land occupation.
Thanpuying Yossawadi was a well-known personality in education circles. She was the founder of Amporn Paisal School in Bangkok. She died in 2012 at the age of 105.
Maj Gen Worathat said they are many other cases of illegal land occupation by influential persons in Loei province that are also subject to legal action.