BANGKOK — The national anti-graft agency on Wednesday said a pro-government lawmaker committed “serious ethical breaches” by building a poultry farm on a protected forest land.
The Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission said it has also forwarded the case against Phalang Pracharath Party MP Parina Kraikupt to the Supreme Court, a move that could see Parina stripped from her seat and banned from holding political offices.
“The case of MP Parina Kraikupt unlawfully owning and benefitting from state land is a serious ethical breach,” the announcement by the commission said. “There is a conflict of interest between her individual benefits and public benefit.”
It went on, “Whether committed directly or indirectly, this is a serious breach and as a MP her actions have defamed the dignity of her office.”
“From our investigation we found that Parina Kraikupt, along with her father Tawee Kraikupt, encroached and benefitted from state land,” the statement read.
Parina stands accused of owning a 711-rai chicken farm that encroaches on a forest land reserved for impoverished farmers in Ratchaburi province. Parina has repeatedly denied the accusations, and little action has been taken against her since the scandal broke in November 2019.
Parina’s term in office as an elected House Representative began on May 25, 2019 even as she continued to own the land, the statement by the anti-graft commission said.
According to the agency, the Royal Forestry Department estimated that Parina’s land encroachment cost the state at least 36,224,791 baht in damages.
“But Parina Kraikupt continues to hold, own, and use for her benefit the aforementioned land, without having the right to own it, without permission from the Royal Forest Department or the Agricultural Land Reform Office,” the statement read.
If found guilty by the Supreme Court, the lawmaker could lose her seat in the Parliament and face a ban from political offices. It is not immediately clear when the case against Parina will be deliberated by the court.
Parina, who represents Ratchaburi province, is infamous for her scathing verbal attacks on members of the opposition and the pro-democracy camp.