The Office of Land Reform for Agriculture will ask the National Buddhism Office to revoke the licence of the Tiger’s Temple or Wat Pa Luangta Bua Yannasampanno in Kanchanaburi for the use of almost 400 rai of reform land for the keeping of over 130 tigers and other wild animals.
It was reported that the temple had misused the land for purposes than those specified. Also, it was alleged that the temple had illegally encroached on forested land adjacent to the reform land allowed to be used by the temple.
The last of the 137 tigers was moved out of the temple on Saturday to Khao Pratap Chang and Khao Son wildlife breeding centres in Chom Boeng district of Ratchaburi. But there are still some wildlife species left on the temple ground which include horse, wild boar, buffaloes, antelope and barking deer.
Mr Adisorn Nutdamrong, deputy director of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation, said that the department would work out how to deal with the protected species still left in the temple as the temple ground is spacious and it is not easy to catch them without harming them.
Charges have so far been lodged against three monks and tow lay followers with Saiyok district police by the department.
Regarding the abbot of the temple, Phra Visutthisarnthera or Luangta Chan, it was alleged by one of the followers that that abbot left the temple on May 29 and his whereabout remains unknown.
However, informed sources said that Luangta Chan would be summoned for questioning. Meanwhile, authorities will expand their investigation to determine whether the temple was involved in the illegal trade of protected wildlife species or not.
Saiyok district police chief Pol Col Bandhit Muangsukham said that eight counts of charges had been lodged against the temple by the Department of National Parks,
Wildlife and Plants Conservation. He disclosed that the temple had illegally encroached on over 1,000 rai of land.
Regarding the 72 employees of Tiger’s Temple Company who were made redundant after the closure of the temple, offices of employment service, social security and workers’ welfare protection have stepped in to help them.