Police Seize Internet Famous ‘Smiling Buffalo’ from Poor Farmer

A poor Thai farmer, whose friendship with a buffalo he was looking after went viral online, has now had the water buffalo taken from him by police as potential evidence of fraud after he purchased it from the original owner with the help of crowdfunding.

The farmer, Surat Phaeoket, became an internet sensation after posting pictures of himself and the ‘smiling buffalo’ online and, subsequently, persuaded Thai netizens to give him 100,000 baht to purchase the buffalo from Boonlert Kanpakdee, a local government official in Chai Nat province.

Boonlert told Surat that if he forked over the money, he could have the buffalo, but never expected him to actually pay.

After a successful crowdfunding campaign though, Surat bought the buffalo but weeks later, Boonlert was unhappy with the deal and wanted the buffalo back.

“I berated him to his face. How could you act like a beggar? I look bad, as the mayor,” Boonlert told the media.

According to authorities, they have impounded the buffalo for evidence until determining whether or not Surat fraudulently misled the public in order to receive their contributions.

Read the full story here.

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