Man stole village chief's buffalo to pay loan shark

Man stole village chief's buffalo to pay loan shark

Kom, a five-year-old buffalo, is returned to her owner on Friday, after she was stolen by a debt-ridden man from a field in Nang Rong district of Buri Ram province on Thursday. (Photo by Surachai Piragsa)
Kom, a five-year-old buffalo, is returned to her owner on Friday, after she was stolen by a debt-ridden man from a field in Nang Rong district of Buri Ram province on Thursday. (Photo by Surachai Piragsa)

BURI RAM: A man was charged with burglary after admitting stealing a buffalo owned by a village chief with a plan to sell the animal to pay a loan-shark debt.

Pol Capt Sompong Srichumsaeng, a deputy police chief at Nang Rong, arrested Somsak Kerdket in Prakhon Chai district on a charge of stealing "Kom", a 5-year-old buffalo cow owned by Saman Thangern, chief of Ban Khok Noi in Nang Rong district.

Every morning Mr Saman loosely tethers nine buffaloes, including Kom, in fields near the village, so they can move around and graze. On Thursday, he returned later in the day to take his buffaloes to a muddy  wallow, but Kom was missing.

Mr Saman said he searched in vain for the missing buffalo. Then a relative in nearby Prakhon Chai called him on Friday to say that police there had impounded a buffalo, believed to be Kom.

The village chief made the 30 kilometre trip to Prakhon Chai, and confirmed it was indeed his missing buffalo.

Mr Somsak, 56, admitted he had seen the animal grazing in the field, untended, and stealing and selling it seemed like a good way to pay off his debt to a loan shark.

He and his wife had borrowed 24,000 baht and could not pay the rapidly accruing interest - 1,200 baht a day.

Police pressed a burglary charge against him, which carries a fine of 2,000-10,000 bahtand/or jail term of  1-5 years.


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