The elite forces from the Crime Suppression Division carried search and arrest warrants on 6am raids at Wat Sam Phraya, Wat Sa Ket and Wat Samphanthawong in Bangkok, Wat Onoi in Nakhon Pathom and Wat Kudeethong in Sing Buri.
At Wat Onoi in Kamphaeng Saen district, police arrested the activist abbot Phra Buddha Isara, who gained front-page notoriety in support of the Bangkok Shutdown movement in 2013-14. He was held on a charge of robbery during demonstrations with that group, the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC).
Phra Phrom Sitthi, abbot of Wat Sa Ket (Golden Mount) in Pomprap Sattruphai district, and Phra Phrom Methee, assistant abbot of Wat Samphanthawong in Sampanthawong district, were at large. They were wanted on charges of embezzlement of temple funds.
Phra Methee Suthikorn and Phra Wichit Thammaporn, assistant abbots of Wat Sa Ket, were arrested.
Police carried arrest warrants for seven monks at Wat Sam Phraya, Wat Sa Ket and Wat Samphanthawong in cases of alleged temple fund embezzlement and money laundering.
All the arrested senior monks were brought to the headquarters of the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok for questioning and prosecution.
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