Thai tycoon in poaching scandal convicted on firearms charge

BANGKOK (AP) — A court in Thailand has sentenced a construction tycoon to six months in prison for illegal firearms possession in the latest case in a scandal that erupted when he was accused of poaching protected animals in a wildlife sanctuary.

The Bangkok Criminal Court yesterday halved the one-year sentence for Premchai Karnasuta because he pleaded guilty.

Premchai and several employees of his Italian-Thai Development company were found with guns and the carcasses of a black panther and other animals when they were caught hunting in western Thailand in February last year.

Premchai has already received a 16-month sentence for possessing the carcass of an endangered Kalij pheasant and firearms in public areas.

He also received a one-year sentence for attempting to bribe a park ranger. He remains free on bail.

Thai business tycoon president of Italian-Thai Development Premchai Karnasuta. PHOTO: AP