Saiyut Boonpeng said disciples and members of Wat Pa Luangta Bua Yannasampanno, better known as the Tiger Temple, along with the Luang Ta Maha Bua Foundation, were collecting documents and evidence dated back to 2001 when the DNP left seven tigers under the temporary care of the temple.
Mr Saiyut said temple authorities last week contacted “one of the country’s top lawyers”, who is deciding whether to pursue the lawsuit.
The suit would seek to reclaim the confiscated tigers, using the 2003 Sukhumvit Square beer bar demolition case as an example. Mr Saiyut said the razing of the square by hired thugs was similar to the moving of 147 tigers by the wildlife officials.
The Supreme Court ruled last January that firebrand Rak Thailand Party leader and former massage parlour king Chuvit Kamolvisit and 65 men he hired were guilty of hiring others to damage people’s property, trespassing and detention for their role in destroying dozens of beer kiosks and shops on the Sukhumvit Square night strip at the corner of Soi 10 on Oct 15, 2003. The court sent Chuvit to prison for two years.
The DNP tried to confiscate seven tigers in 2001 after discovering they were being kept at the temple, but later allowed them to stay after the temple said they were well looked after. The tigers were allegedly found injured in the wild by villagers who later asked the monk to take care of them.
The number of tigers at the temple increased over the years to 147. All have since been relocated from the temple in Sai Yok district to two wildlife centres in nearby Ratchaburi province.
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