The Director of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, Thanet Mannoi, told a meeting today that police had sent him a letter telling him a criminal action had been instigated by the sea walker company.
An as-yet unnamed Bangkok official signed the paperwork allowing a sea walker business to operate in a protected area off Phuket, Khun Thaet said he learned from a letter sent by police.
Marine biologists from the centre and Phuket dive volunteers drove off the sea walker company after a section of a coral reef was destroyed near Kai Island, a popular day-trip atoll destination for Asian visitors to Phuket.
Sea walkers put on a dive bell helmet and are supplied with air pumped through a plastic hose while they walk along the sand. No swimming, snorkelling or scuba skills are required.
Marine biologists and dive volunteers discovered that the company had engaged sea gypsies to clear coral from a 300-metre path so the sand could be exposed for undersea walking.
The environmental clash emphasised the rapaciousness of businesses that profit from the coral reefs off Phuket but have no interest in preserving or maintaining it.
''I am being sued by the seawalking company from Kai island,'' Khun Thanet said today. ''We reacted to the destruction of the coral reef.
''It's our job to protect the environment. We wonder: how can this happen?
''The company claimed to have permission but we can't imagine how they could possibly have permission to destroy coral in a protected area.''
Biologists and Phuket divers will be anxiously awaiting the revelation as to who gave approval from Bangkok to desecrate a reef off Phuket.
At least three sea walking companies are reported to be operating with permission off He island, another popular Phuket day-trip destination.
Thailand's marine and coastal treasures are likely to be rapidly destroyed as package tourism flourishes unless laws protecting beaches and reefs are strictly enforced.