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Department of Special Investigation (DSI) Deputy Chief Lt Col Prawut Wongsrinil suspects that a Phuket man’s death “might not have been an accident” amid a B1.4 billion land swindle for a plot with “sea views” on the island’s east coast.
The investigation was launched after Rorma Wonglee, 80, alleged that a second SorKor 1land document had been issued using the same registration number as the SorKor 1 that her family had been issued for their family land.
Col Prawut said he believes that someone had doctored a copy of the original land document to gain a different plot of land that would be worth in the region of B1.4 billion.
Ms Rormah told Col Prawut that in 2010 she submitted a SorKor 1 issued in her husband’s name, Sah Wonglee, to the Thalang Land Office in order for the land status to be upgraded and a Chanote land title deed issued for her family plot.
“The plot was around 40 rai. The SorKor 1 land document was originally inherited from my husband’s father. Later, land officials came to measure the plot, which was surrounded with rubber trees,” she said.
“Some time later, a person who I only know as ‘P’ claimed that he held the same SorKor 1 land document. Land officials told me not to worry as mine was the real one.
“However, now everything has changed as the SorKor 1 land document that I hold has been cancelled and a Chanote land title deed has been issued to someone else,” Ms Rormah explained.
After receiving a report about the issue, officials went to investigate the land plot in Moo 4, Pa Khlok, as claimed by Ms Rormah, The land plot is being used as a rubber and fruit plantation.
Officials then inspected the land claimed by “P”, whose claim is based on a SorKor 1 that has the same registration number as the SorKor 1 held by Ms Rormah. The plot claimed by “P”, however, is located in Moo 9, Pa Khlok.
The area is in the mountains with 90-degree sea views. Rubber plantations were also found growing on the plot. However, the entrance was blocked by a gate.
Col Prawut said, “After checking ‘P’s’ original SorKor 1 land document we found that the land plot covers 140 rai and that this land is connected to a canal and a road.
“We also checked the plot using GPS and found that this area is in a protected forest area,” he said.
“After investigating both of these land documents, we discovered that on Feb 7, 2017, which was a Sunday, a day on which government office’s are closed, Ms Rormah’s younger brother was asked by someone to make a copy of a SorKor 1 land document as they had lost the original,” Col Prawut added.
“Not long after, Ms Rormah’s brother died after after being involved in an accident. I suspect that this was not an accident but was something else, because I also learned that Ms Rormah’s brother had signed a contract to sell the land for B14 million,” Col Prawut noted.
“We collected evidence including information from the Thalang Land Office so that we can to take legal action,” he said.
“We also believe that this second SorKor 1 land document for 140 rai had been doctored as the land is worth B100mn per rai. If sold it would get around B1.4bn.
“It is possible that this is the reason to doctor the second SorKor 1 land document using other land plots to issue the Chanote land title deed,” Col Prawut concluded.