One of two stolen buffalos that were born to cows donated by HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha to an Ayutthaya temple has been found slaughtered in an abattoir.
Phrakhru Kasem Phatthanaporn, the abbot of Wat Tanod Teay in Ayutthaya, is reunited with Thong Kwao, a six-year-old female buffalo stolen from the temple on Thursday. CHINNAPAT CHAIMON
The other buffalo was successfully rescued from a border area in the North just as it was about be smuggled to a neighbouring country, police said.
Pol Maj Gen Korn-aek Phetcharachaiwes, Ayutthaya police chief, said the butchered body of Ai Khlao, a male, was found in a slaughterhouse in Nakhon Sawan's Takhli district.
Police arrived at the abattoir about 7pm on Saturday, just one hour after the stolen animal was killed, he said.
The corpse was taken back to Wat Tanod Teay in Ayutthaya's Uthai district, where a funeral was held yesterday for the dead buffalo before it was buried.
A large number of mourners showed up at the buffalo funeral.
Several officials from Sukhothai Palace also attended the funeral of the buffalo.
Ai Khlao is believed to have been sold and resold for about 47,000 baht to five different buyers after it was stolen along with the other buffalo, a female, from the temple on Thursday. The animals, both six years old, were born to cows donated to Wat Tanod Teay by HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha in 2008.
Thong Kwao, the female, was rescued in Chiang Rai province's Chiang Khong district, where it was waiting to be smuggled into a neighbouring country.
Phrakhru Kasem Phatthanaporn, the temple's abbot, caught a flight to Chiang Rai to see the buffalo after learning about the rescue. The abbot hired a 10-wheel truck to head north to Chiang Rai to pick up the rescued buffalo and bring it back home. Police said the buffalo thieves sold both animals at a cattle market in neighbouring Uthai Thani province before they were sold to other buyers.
Police arrested two suspected thieves on Saturday, and are widening their investigation to cover more suspects believed to be involved in a cattle theft ring.
On Saturday, Thongdaeng Sinsib, 45, was caught in Lop Buri's Khok Samrong district, and Surachai Suda, 45, was detained in Nakhon Ratchasima's Dan Khun Thot district. Police are tracking two more suspects, identified only as Teay and Noy. They are believed to be linked to a cattle theft network.
The carcass of Jao Khlao, a six-year-old male buffalo, is lowered into the ground for burial yesterday. It was found killed at an abattoir after being stolen from the Ayutthaya temple. SUNTHORN PONGPAO
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- Writer: Sunthon Pongpao