Premchai Karnasuta at the Criminal Court in Bangkok on Aug. 20, 2019.

BANGKOK — A criminal court on Monday found a construction mogul guilty of carrying unlicensed firearms to poach wildlife and sentenced him to six months in prison.

The court also rejected Premchai Karnasuta’s offer to ordain as a monk and donate to charities in exchange for a suspended jail term. In its verdict, the court said Premchai has two other cases pending in connection to the hunt and therefore is not eligible for probation.

The court then handed down a six-month prison term for the illegal possession of four hunting firearms.

Premchai’s attorneys are securing bail at the time of publication.


The president of the conglomerate Italian Thai Ltd. stands accused of hunting black panthers and other animals in a national park in February 2018. He rejected the poaching charges, but confessed to owning the four firearms in today’s ruling.

In March, he was sentenced to 16 months in prison for weapons-related charges and conspiring to poach wildlife, but he was later released on a bond.


In June, the court also handed him a one-year prison term for bribery. He was granted bail.

In files to the court, Premchai offered to become a monk for 15 days at Bovornnivet Temple or any other monastery, donate 3 million baht from his own wallet to charities, and pledge not to use firearms ever again.

Though the court said Premchai is welcome to pursue those plans, it refused to suspend the defendant’s jail term.