On March 24, Cdr Surasak Inphrom of the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command in Phang Nga together with fellow Navy officers and the brother of the owner of a female elephant named “Yo” went to Chalong Police Station to file a report stating that an elephant at an elephant camp in Chalong is an elephant which was stolen from Krabi 14 years ago.
The report was filed after Mr Somsak Reangngern, 35, Yo’s mahout and the younger brother of the owner got sent a photo of an elephant being kept at the Chalong elephant camp which he was sure was Yo.
However, the people from the Amazing Bukit Safari camp in Chalong where the elephant was found to held were adamant that the elephant was called Nampetch and that they had the registration documents to prove it. (See story here.)
The two parties were given until Mar 31 to present freshly produced copies of their original elephant registration documents to police in the hope of resolving who – if anyone – legally owns the pachyderm. (See story here.)
“We are waiting for the documents of evidence for the investigation before sending the case to court,” said Lt Col Winai Poonsawat, deputy chief of the Ao Nang police in Krabi province.
“The case still hasn’t gone to court so we still don’t know who is the rightful owner. However, I can confirm that we have charged Raewat Chernkaew, the man who sold the elephant to the camp, with group theft at night using a vehicle,” said Lt Col Winai.
“Right now the elephant is still in the same place, at the camp. I don’t know if the elephant is working or not. It most likely is, because the case isn’t finished,” Lt Col Winai said.
“It will probably take another month or two. These things take a while,” he added.