Connect with us

Thailand

Buffalo smiles end up in tears

Published

 on 

by Thanapol Saengthong and Kornkamon Aksorndech

Surat Paewkate, the 34 year old Chai Nat farmer who famously made headlines for his unusual friendship with a five year old buffalo called Thong Kham, has been separated from his four-legged best mate yesterday when police took the animal away over allegations that Surat had used this “friendship” to get money from others. Chai Nat is a province north of Bangkok.

Surat had been hired to take care of the buffalo.

Police say Surat is set to face four charges: public fraud (punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and/or a maximum of 100,000 baht fine); violation of the Computer Crimes Act by posting false information that can be accessed by the public (punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and/or a maximum of 100,000 baht fine); violation of the Fundraising Control Act (punishable by a maximum of one month in jail and/or a 200 baht fine); and violation of the Anti-Money Laundering Act (punishable by a jail term ranging from one to 10 years and/or a fine ranging from 20,000 to 200,000 baht).

Police say, having seized the animal and cash as evidence, they will ask the Anti-Money Laundering Office to help check Surat’s transactions as part of the investigation.

Noen Kham district resident Surat – whose selfies with the “smiley” buffalo Thong Kham went viral on Facebook and made them both famous – is in trouble because he sought donations to raise 100,000 baht so he could buy his four-legged friend. In two days, he was able to raise 135,969 baht in a crowd-funding campaign to “save” his buddy.

Thong Kham is one of three buffaloes that Surat was hired to temporarily take care of since early this month.

However, after Surat handed 100,000 baht to the buffalo owner’s representative, things did not end happily as expected.

The Nation reports that the buffalo’s 64 year old owner, Tambon Suk Duan Ha municipality mayor Boonlert Kadpakdee, and famed lawyer Songkran Achariyasap, showed up at the Khanna Yao Police Station and filed a complaint accusing Surat of committing two offences – public fraud and violating the Computer Crimes Act.

Boonlert also said his plan was to sell Thong Kham to a buffalo conservation centre, not to the slaughterhouse as Surat claimed. However, Surat tearfully denied any wrongdoing and insisted that his intention was to look after the buffalo the best he could and create smiles for people.

He said he has not done anything with the remaining money, and had even asked his new-found Facebook friends for ideas.

Yesterday morning, Surat saw Thong Khom taken away to the Bangkok precinct in another farmer’s pick-up truck, and said he hoped his “friend” would eventually be returned to him. He also claimed that Boonlert has forgiven him and wants Thong Kham to be left under his care.

He said he needed some time before he could explain his sincere intentions and the claim of Boonlert forgiving him to police. If all goes well, he said, he will even spend some time as a monk.

A source at the Attorney-General’s Legal Aid branch office in Chai Nat said Surat will seek legal advice today.

STORY: The Nation

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

The Thaiger is Thailand's largest online portal for news, videos and information.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Politics5 hours ago

Vladimir Putin officially annexed four parts of Ukraine

Transport8 hours ago

Phuket Airport officials pulled tourist from van, insisted they use airport taxi

Thailand9 hours ago

Thailand’s strange laws – 10 strange laws in Thailand

Sponsored2 days ago

10 Best Seed Banks that Ship Cannabis Seeds Discreetly to You (Free US Shipping)

Politics9 hours ago

The long goodbye – Which way now for PM Prayut?

Pattaya10 hours ago

Pattaya Police Chief cleared of vice slurs, back on duty

Tourism10 hours ago

Reopening Thailand has a busy activity schedule

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Tourism10 hours ago

Today is the day! Full post-pandemic Thailand reopening

Pollution12 hours ago

Garbage in canals is worsening flooding in Bangkok

Weather12 hours ago

Hurricane Ian lashes South Carolina

Tourism13 hours ago

5-star squatters evicted from Layan Beach

Video14 hours ago

All you need to know about Thailand’s Vegetarian Festival

Protests14 hours ago

Anti-Prayut rallies expected across Bangkok

What you get for $X1 day ago

What $100,000 buys you for a condo in Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Samui and Hua Hin

Thailand1 day ago

Thailand News Today | Activists plan protests all across Thailand

Thailand1 day ago

Snitching on parking space hoggers could earn you 5,000 baht in Thailand

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending