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Phuket Park Probe: Banks 'Scared to Lose'

Phuket Park Probe: Banks 'Scared to Lose'

Monday, November 12, 2012
PHUKET: Big banks are lobbying Thailand's Government because they have the most to lose from investigations that restore stolen parkland to a national park on Phuket, according to sources.

The likelihood is that any land misappropriated from Phuket's Sirinath National Park would be restored - and the big banks would be big losers, by billions of baht.

Sources within the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation have revealed the lobbying now being undertaken by big banks, according to a report by the Thailand Information Centre for Civil Rights and Investigative Journalism.

The centre's online site also claims that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has said that keeping the contentious land in private hands would at least mean more jobs for locals.

Although he acknowledges that progress has slowed, the Director of Sirinath National park, Cheewapab Cheewatam, said today the investigations were still proceeding.

The ''14 plus 366'' investigation was begun by former department head Damrong ''The Demolisher'' Pidech who went into retirement after driving a rapid-fire investigation into Phuket parkland theft.

Five-star resorts and villa property operations bordering the park were named in the initial 14 investigations, with probes on another 366 plots of land yet to move beyond the planning stages.

Thousands of rai of the national park are alleged to have been stolen over decades by private businesses in collusion with corrupt government officials.

However, who is left footing the bill appears to be the prime concern of the big banks, not justice.

The banks see only a downside if investigations prove correct and the banks, who loaned large amounts to many of the companies involved, are left without cash or property.

One of the owners of a large property under investigation spent an hour with Phuket Governor Maitree Inthusud in a meeting at Provincial Hall in Phuket City on Friday.

Neither party would confirm the nature of their talks, which were held in private in the VIP room.

Comments

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I hope the banks do indeed lose a lot of money, causing them to sue the corrupt land officials who wrongfully issued these land titles.

Furthermore hopefully in the future the banks will be motivated to investigate with due diligence the submitted land documents before they issue loans against them.

It's all about making every link in the chain accountable. Make those involved personally suffer the consequences of corruption and perhaps in a generation or so we will see a change in the attitudes in Thailand towards corruption.

Posted by Andrew on November 12, 2012 13:30

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Well if you check the Stock Exchange of Thailand website, you can see who owns the major shareholdings of the big banks. Then check who owns a few of the resorts and which political figures and parties they are connected with. Always follow the money. Politics is just a charade to make the voters believe there is a choice. We actually live in a corporatocracy, where corporations, banks, politicians and their crony business associates collude as a predatory, plundering class of parasites. They steal public land, channel the public's money into private pockets and then manipulate the laws to avoid prosecution. This is just another case where nobody will stand up for the greater good. Nobody can without losing their job or their life.

Posted by logbags on November 12, 2012 15:00

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If PM Yingluck would like to do something for the locals everywhere in Thailand, she should reform the land title disaster. Property owning should be transparent and clear, one land title for ownership and a set of using allowances/restrainings attached to it. And if the allowances get up, there should be a tax to the government for the value added. If the restraining are becoming stronger, the owner should get a negative tax for part of the loosing value of their land.

Letting the thieves run with the land is not a solution, that helps the BIP of Thailand. If they are allowed to keep the loot, they should pay heavy fines to buy other lands in Phuket, that should be devoted to park land again. But most fair would be to send the drivers of this grand land theft into prison.

Posted by Lena on November 12, 2012 17:27

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Shame the 'big banks' didn't carry out due diligence in the first place. The arrogance of power shows through again, with the powerful going running to their cronies when it all goes wrong. Serves them right.

Posted by Mister Ree on November 12, 2012 18:11

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If the Thai banks are lobbying then the developers and owners will sleep soundly tonight. End of problem.

The families who own Thai banks are in the worst case simply untouchable; at best, not even mentionable.

Posted by sean on November 13, 2012 01:46

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Banks are supporting lang-grabbers to steal public lands through loans; so if they lose money it will be the second face of the coin.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on November 18, 2012 19:00

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Sean, You got that right. I'm at the point I can no longer participate in the charade that Thailand is anything but .., yes, unmentionable upon pain of prosecution. If ever a country needed an occupation...

Posted by CBF on November 19, 2012 08:10


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