Phuket officials led by city defence deputy, Jiradet Burarak, together with local officials and Patong police investigated two monks who were suspected of breaking Buddhist monk disciplines at the junction of Sai Namyen and Rat Uthit 200 Pi Rd.
Mr Jiradet explained: “The investigation into the two monks came after residents complained that they were asking for alms when stood just a one place. When we arrived we saw the two monks standing on the sidewalk. It is not usual practice for monks to stand waiting for people to give them alms, they usually walk.
“We approached them and asked them to come to Suwankiri Temple so we could check their certificates of monkhood and identification cards,” he said.
“It turned out that the birth certificates they used to ordain as monks were fake documents,” he added.
Head monk at Wat Ket Ho, Phra Kru Wichitsangkhapairoj defrocked the two men, Tanai Jaieua, 52, from Lopburi and Bundit Sairat, 42, from Krabi.
“Officials also found cash in their bags and an account book from the Thai Commercial Bank Chantaburi branch which had B200,000 deposited in it,” said Mr Jiradet.
Both men were taken to Patong Police Station where they face the charge of forgery of birth certificates.
“We learned that these two men have been living in a shelter on Patong Hill and roaming the city asking for alms for more than two years,” Mr Jiradet concluded.