Court Affirms Poaching Jail Term for Construction Tycoon

A file photo of Premchai Karnasuta

Update: Premchai Karnasuta was sent to prison for a night after failing to post bail.

KANCHANABURI — An appeal court on Thursday affirmed a guilty verdict on construction mogul Premchai Karnasuta accused of conspiring to poach wildlife animals in a protected forest in 2018.

The court also handed down a prison term of 16 months to Premchai, who was found guilty of the charge by the lower court in March. The court refused to suspend the jail term to Premchai.

The defendant later tried to post bail but failed to secure relevant documents by the time the court office closes down. Premchai was sent to prison for the night and told to try posting bail release again tomorrow.

Top: Prison officials escort Premchai to a prisoner’s van.

In its verdict, the court said there was evidence that Premchai brought firearms into the National Park without a permit and helped hunt wildlife there with his accomplices.

Premchai was also ordered to pay a damage of 2 million baht to the forest authorities.

However, the Italian-Thai Ltd. CEO was acquitted of killing a black panther in the wildlife sanctuary – an incident that sent the nation into an uproar.

Another defendant, Thanee Toommat, pled guilty to shooting the panther. He received a prison term of 2 years and 17 months in today’s verdict. Under Thai laws, a month of jail sentence consists of 30 days, while a year of prison term counts as 365 days.