Shot ZPOT boss’s identify ‘was in clear’
Bitter grapes spurred claims: ex-head
All allegations as soon as made in opposition to Suriya Saengpong, the director of the Zoological Park Group of Thailand murdered just lately, had been discovered to be groundless, former ZPOT director Sophon Damnui mentioned on Friday.
He was talking after ZPOT launched an investigation into lacking animals and the potential of unlawful animal buying and selling at its zoos amid claims that workers might have been concerned in animal trafficking. Suriya was shot lifeless final Saturday throughout a gathering known as to look into the thriller surrounding the disappearance of two uncommon albino barking deer at Songkhla Zoo. The gunman, Phuwadol Suwanna, a senior veterinarian and head of the zoo’s conservation, analysis and animal well being division, shot and killed himself in his dwelling quarters contained in the zoo compound shortly after.
A male albino barking deer born on the zoo in December final 12 months went lacking in February. Whereas it’s nonetheless unclear what occurred to the animal, one other albino barking deer of the identical era went lacking final month.
Commenting on the saga, Mr Sophon mentioned all 21 unsigned allegations made in opposition to Suriya regarding his efficiency, which had been much like about 10 allegations made in opposition to himself by the point he rose to the highest job at ZPOT, had already been proved to be unfaithful. The claims made about his personal efficiency had additionally been proven to be unfaithful, he mentioned.
The allegations in opposition to Suriya had been lodged since 2018 and had been pushed by somebody who did not need Suriya to grow to be the brand new chief of ZPOT, mentioned Mr Sophon. And since all these allegations had been discovered by ZPOT’s board to be groundless, Suriya’s appointment was finally endorsed, he mentioned.
Requested concerning the chance that unlawful wildlife buying and selling at Songkhla Zoo could possibly be a motive behind the homicide of Suriya, Mr Sophon mentioned it was extremely unlikely that any such unlawful commerce of wildlife exists on the zoo. The checklist of all wild animals stored on the zoo is up to date and incessantly audited by the State Audit Workplace, he mentioned, including that within the occasion irregularities come up, the Nationwide Anti-Corruption Fee is known as in to analyze.
A panel arrange by Pure Assets and Surroundings Minister Varawut Silpa-archa is probing Suriya’s homicide. Mr Sophon insisted each Suriya and Phuwadol had been good at wildlife safety, saying he believed private conflicts had been responsible.
Kosin Rattanawibun, a former Songkhla Zoo official, who was accused of stealing a rhino horn from the zoo in 2018, yesterday turned himself in to police and denied any wrongdoing. The lacking rhino horn case come underneath scrutiny once more after the homicide case made headlines.