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Court sentences disgraced ‘jet-setting monk’ to 114 years

BANGKOK: A Thai court sentenced a disgraced former monk to 114 years in prison today (Aug 9), a court official said, more than a year after he was extradited from the United States.


Thursday 9 August 2018, 02:19PM

Disgraced ex-Buddhist monk Wiraphon Sukphon speaks to officials in Bangkok, on July 20, 2017. Photo: AFP

Disgraced ex-Buddhist monk Wiraphon Sukphon speaks to officials in Bangkok, on July 20, 2017. Photo: AFP

Wiraphon Sukphon made headlines in 2013 when footage emerged of him wearing designer aviator sunglasses with a Louis Vuitton bag on a private jet.

The 39-year-old fled to the US but was sent back after he was accused of raping a minor and deceiving donors who gave him money to build the world’s largest emerald Buddha image.

A further probe revealed he owned luxury cars and multiple bank accounts valued at about $700,000 (B23.22 million).

Wiraphon was convicted of money laundering, fraud and violating the Computer Crime Act for raising funds online, a Bangkok court official said.

“Judges convicted him and sentenced him altogether to 114 years,” the official said, adding that under Thai law Wiraphon would not serve more than 20 years for the convictions.

Wiraphon was also required to return B28.6mn to 29 donors who filed complaints.

The ruling on the rape charge is expected in October, a public prosecutor said.

The monk is accused of having sex with an under-age girl around a decade ago and fathering a child with her. He faces the prospect of an additional 20 years behind bars if convicted.



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Galong | 10 August 2018 - 08:50:39

Go after all monks! Go after all fancy temples. The money spent on monks and ornamentation should go towards the needy, not them. This is all one big facade in reality. The Buddha actually said not to worship him and not to hold rites and rituals. Read the source material.

Christy Sweet | 09 August 2018 - 20:51:58

Whan are the monks who drowned tigers going to be indicted?  Who else was involved in sales of tiger parts and skins?  That story went awfully quiet. 

Nasa12 | 09 August 2018 - 14:59:54

THE END Of one jet-set monk in Thailand, and the rest coming after. 

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