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Italian-Thai boss charged with hunting in sanctuary

A park ranger stands guard over Italian-Thai Development Plc president Premchai Karnasuta, sitting, and the two other suspects at their hunting camp in Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary. (Photos supplied by Piyarach Choncharoen)

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Construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta has been arrested for allegedly hunting wildlife in the World Heritage Thungyai Naresuan sanctuary in Kanchanaburi province.

Park rangers arrested Mr Premchai, the 63-year-old president of the huge SET-listed construction company Italian-Thai Development (ITD), in a no-camping area of Huai Pachee forest in the western part of the sanctuary late on Sunday night.

Officials found skinned carcasses of protected wild animals, including a 1.48-metre-long black panther, a Kalij pheasant and a barking deer, three long-barrelled guns and ammunition in his possession.

Arrested with him were three others. Together they were charged with unauthorised hunting, unauthorised hunting in a wildlife sanctuary, unauthorised possession of wildlife carcasses, illegally bringing hunting tools into a wildlife sanctuary, unauthorised collection of forest products and illegal possession of firearms.

Mr Premchai and the three other people entered the wildlife sanctuary on Saturday. They informed park rangers they were going on a two-day-one-night trekking and camping trip. 

On Sunday a Maharat forest ranger unit informed the sanctuary management that Mr Premchai's group were staying in a no-camping area.

Rangers were sent to their camp and brought them back to the sanctuary office about 2.40am on Monday.

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