Koh Lipe re­sort mired in fresh row


Taru­tao Na­tional Ma­rine Park has lodged a com­plaint with po­lice against a re­sort op­er­a­tor on Koh Lipe is­land in Satun’s Muang district, af­ter an ex­am­i­na­tion of satel­lite im­ages showed no signs of prior land use at the plot the re­sort stands on.

Pol Maj Gen Su­pawat Thap­khliew, chief of Satun pro­vin­cial po­lice, said the Taru­tao park, which su­per­vises the re­sort is­land, sus­pects the Nor Sor 3 papers for the piece of land might have been ob­tained il­le­gally since the land was un­oc­cu­pied be­fore.

Nor Sor 3 papers are land util­i­sa­tion cer­tifi­cates that can be up­graded to full deeds.

Manit Kaweerat, the op­er­a­tor of the re­sort in ques­tion, in­sisted he has the proper Nor Sor 3 doc­u­ments to prove his rights over the 50-rai plot on which the re­sort is lo­cated.

The in­vestor said he had ver­i­fied the land papers be­fore pur­chas­ing the plot from the for­mer owner and is ready to go to court to prove his rights over the land.

The com­plaint was lodged as an­other land dis­pute be­tween the re­sort op­er­a­tor and the Royal Thai Po­lice (RTP) in­ten­si­fied.

The po­lice force has ac­cused the op­er­a­tor of en­croach­ing on its 10 rai of land which was granted by the Taru­tao Na­tional Ma­rine Park to build a po­lice sta­tion and ac­com­mo­da­tion for po­lice of­fi­cers in 1989.

Ac­cord­ing to act­ing deputy na­tional po­lice chief Wirachai Song­metta, the devel­oper of the re­sort had con­tested the RTP’s right to use the land in court, and de­manded that the po­lice sta­tion along with other struc­tures be de­mol­ished.

In 2012, the first court ruled in the re­sort devel­oper’s favour. How­ever, the Ap­peal Court and the Supreme Court dis­missed the law­suit and ruled in the po­lice’s favour.

Ac­cord­ing to the Supreme Court rul­ing, the land doc­u­ments held by the re­sort devel­oper were not good enough to over­rule the per­mis­sion granted to the RTP by Taru­tao park of­fi­cials to use the land.

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