Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) officers have told Thai authorities they will return to the Kingdom sacred elephant tusks stolen from a Karen village in Tak’s Umphang district.
The two century-old tusks, to be returned on Monday, were found at a temple in DKBA territory in Myanmar.
The officers however did not promise to hand over the suspected thief - a former village headman, Baisu Khiridujjinda.
He reportedly became a hermit and presented the sacred tusks at his newly-opened ashram on Mulayit Mountain in Myawaddy province to attract disciples.
On Sunday the 346th Border Patrol Police Company officers, along with local police, waited at Ban Mokerthai Moo 1 in Pop Phra district, Tak, for DKBA soldiers to bring them the tusks and the thief.
It followed reports the tusks had been brought to a mountain temple 80 kilometres from the Thai-Myanmar border.
The elaborately carved artifacts vanished from a pavilion at Letongkhu village in tambon Mae Chan on Friday.
Village leaders told police they suspected the former village headman of the theft, as he had arrived at the village and asked to sleep in the pavilion area the night before the tusks were found missing.