Human Interest

Thai construction tycoon to be jailed for poaching panther

Bangkok, Dec 8 (EFE).- Thailand’s Supreme Court sentenced construction magnate Premchai Karnasuta to three years and two months in prison Wednesday for various crimes related to poaching a black panther, a threatened species, officials told EFE.

The country’s top court upheld the magnate’s conviction after a lengthy legal process that began in 2018 and was appealed twice.

Premchai, 66, president of one of Thailand’s largest construction companies, Italian-Thai Development, will go to prison after being on bail since the beginning of the trial.

He will also have to pay a fine of 2 million baht ($59,600.)

The tycoon was arrested with two other members of the hunting party, his former driver and a hunter, on Feb. 4, 2018, when they were caught with the carcass of the panther and other animals killed in the Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary in Kanchanaburi province.

The other two defendants were also sentenced to more than three years in prison.

The 2,500 Indochinese panthers and leopards that survive today across Southeast Asia are listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. EFE


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