Tan Thaugsuban, son of Democrat Party secretarygeneral Suthep, insisted yesterday that his five land plots on Samui Island were acquired lawfully and were located outside reserved areas as he made his first statement responding to land encroachment charges brought against him by the Department of Special Investigation.
Tan said he would meet the DSI today as scheduled and would submit his written explanation.
During his press conference at a Bangkok hotel, he accused the DSI of politicising the issue to discredit him and his father, who was now an enemy of the DSI and an archrival of the Pheu Thai Party, which leads the government.
Citing maps from the Lands Department, Tan said all his five plots were located three kilometres away from Mount Khao Phaeng, which was a reserved area, and one kilometre outside the ring road going around the island.
It was impossible that his land was located in reserved areas as indicated by the DSI and told to the public on several occasions, he said.
Such announcements by the DSI had led to delays in property purchases, which resulted in an economic downturn on the resort island, he said.
“I’m not sure if the entire DSI is able to read maps. If they are, and study the Lands Department maps, then everything is over,” he said.
All five land plots were legally acquired since their purchase 10 years ago. Partially transferable ownership documents were obtained and later fully transferable title deeds. Many owners of land plots nearby or elsewhere have acquired their properties through similar means, he said.
The DSI, as a government agency, should act naturally and not side with any political power, while Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung had stepped over the line for politicians, he said.
“In a fourday period, I turned from a witness into a suspect when the DSI summoned me to acknowledge the land encroachment charge,” he added.