Deputy Governor Reveals Case Progress: Mae Hong Son Assistant Village Headman Accused of Usurping Wildlife Sanctuary Suspects

Mae Hong Son—

On March 26th, 2024, Mr. Boonlue Thamtharanurak, the Deputy Governor of Mae Hong Son Province, publicly revealed the case progress of an assistant village headman in Mae Hong Son and 20 individuals allegedly usurping two suspects in custody of Pai River Basin Wildlife Sanctuary officials in Pai on March 25th.

According to Boonlue, five Pai River Basin patrol officials inspected a forest after detecting fire smoke in the Yan River forest area, in Pai. At 5:35 AM, on March 25th, the patrol officials discovered a man, publicly identified only as Mr. Ta-ae, at a hut 200 meters away from the fire spot with three cutting tools, one pill of an illicit substance, one cap pistol, and other miscellaneous equipment.

Moreover, there was another suspect spotted 150 meters away from Ta-ae’s hut, publicly identified only as Mr. Jarnu with one cap pistol, eight pills of an illicit substance, six cutting tools, one set of ammunition, animal carcasses, and other miscellaneous equipment, according to Boonlue.
The officials then investigated the surrounding area and found illegal deforestation activity to expand the land and traces of burning. The officials confiscated the property in dispute and gathered evidence before escorting the two suspects to the Pai police station.

However, at 9:00 AM, Mr. Wirat, the Ban Nong Khao assistant village headman, last name withheld, and another 20 individuals allegedly obstructed the work of officials in Pang Mapha, Mae Hong Son, while transferring Ta-ae and Jarnu to the Pai police station.

The group of suspects led by Wirat allegedly forcibly usurped the two suspects in officials’ custody, seized the property in dispute, and assaulted the officials, according to Boonlue.
In response to the outrageous incident, Mr. Chucheep Phongchai, the Governor of Mae Hong Son Province, issued an order to relevant agencies to assign an investigative committee to investigate the Ban Nong Khao assistant village headman’s case. Moreover, Pai police officers would take serious legal action against the group of suspects.

Wirat has not released a statement about the allegations as of press time.

The original version of this article appeared on our sister website, The Pattaya News, owned by our parent company TPN media.

Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for more than four years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.