World Cup passion soldiers from a Burma Army battalion based on the Thai-Burma border were reported to have stolen Thai villagers’ buffaloes for TV and satellite in order to be able to get access to the World Cup match, reported by buffaloes’ owners.
The buffaloes were reported to have been taken two days ago and owned by villagers from Lug Teng in Piangluang Chiangmai's Wianghaeng District, opposite Shan State South’s Mongton Twonship, where the base of the soldiers is located. The soldiers were from a camp near Pangkamkaw border base Mongtong Township, said an owner. “The number of buffaloes was 23.”
On 9 June, the owners were informed by a seiner officer from the camp to fetch their buffaloes. But to take the buffaloes back, villagers were told to bring one television, one satellite and one mobile phone to exchange the buffaloes as their livestock crossed over the Burma Army controlled area, said Pa Pee, whose 10 buffaloes were taken.
According to the officer, the buffaloes entered the area for 2 days. “Your buffaloes crossed over into our area. You all owners therefore must pay one satellite, one TV and one mobile phone for your buffaloes” she quoted the officer as saying.
“We gave them money. But they did not accept. They said they only want one TV, one satellite and one mobile phone because they need to watch World Cup match,” Pa Pee said. “We were told to bring the things before the World Cup time.”
One of the buffaloes owner said, “Our buffaloes can’t go across into their land. We have been feeding them for years. They have never gone over that side. It was just a trap because we saw the broken fences and footsteps of soldiers.”
Anyhow, 20 buffaloes were released on 9 June after the owners went to the base and guaranteed that they would give what they ask. And the rest 3 were released on the next day after villagers brought one 21 inches TV, one set of satellite and one mobile phone including money cards, said another owner.
“It costs almost ten thousands (10,000) Baht in total,” he said.
Tonight Mexico and South Africa will play the opening match.