THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET
THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Ex-monk contrite behind bars

BANGKOK: The former Phra Buddha Isara has vowed not to seek bail until “satisfactory progress” has been made in dealing with those involved in the temple fund embezzlement scandal.

crimecorruptionreligion
By Bangkok Post

Thursday 31 May 2018, 09:13AM


Suwit Thongprasert, then still monk Phra Buddha Isara, was protected by security of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) when photographed at Lumpini Park in March, 2014. Photo: Patipat Janthong

Suwit Thongprasert, then still monk Phra Buddha Isara, was protected by security of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) when photographed at Lumpini Park in March, 2014. Photo: Patipat Janthong

The former monk, who was born Suwit Thongprasert, made the remarks yesterday (May 30) as he used a telephone to communicate with supporters and his lawyer, who visited him at the Bangkok Remand Prison where he has been incarcerated since his arrest last Thursday (May 24).

Among the visitors were key members of the now-defunct People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), such as Sathit Wongnongtoey, Nataphol Teepsuwan, Chumpol Chulasai, Issara Somchai and Wittaya Kaewparada.

“I will remain in prison and will not seek bail until officials make satisfactory progress in bringing those involved in the scandal to justice,” the former monk said.

“My position is clear. I have always opposed those involved ... as well as the monks who benefited,” he said.

He was referring to a scandal involving millions of baht that was siphoned from funds for temple development and Buddhist studies allocated by the National Office of Buddhism (NOB).

Some NOB officials and laymen are among the suspects.

According to investigators, the officials contacted temple abbots to propose funding for projects and demanded kickbacks. The abbots were expected to give them some “change” in exchange for the funding.

During last Thursday’s raids on three temples in Bangkok, five senior monks were arrested in connection with alleged money laundering and the alleged embezzlement of temple funds.

Another senior monk surrendered to police yesterday while the fifth suspect remains at large. Both men faced arrest warrants.

Wearing a white shirt and a pair of white trousers, Suwit had to use a walker as he moved because he was suffering from a herniated disc.

The former monk said he did not hold any grudges over the police’s alleged use of excessive force when they arrested him during last Thursday’s pre-dawn raid at Wat Or Noi in Nakhon Pathom’s Kamphaeng Saen district.

Laguna Golf Phuket

“They did what they had to do,” he said, adding he was about to go to sleep at around 3am that morning when he heard a rumpus going on outside his kuti (living quarters).

He admitted to be being startled when armed police stormed in and told him to lie down, but insisted the matter should be laid to rest to prevent people from capitalising on or politicising it.

The former monk was charged with running an illegal secret society after his guards beat up two plain-clothes policemen, took their valuables and detained them for questioning during the PDRC’s protests in Bangkok in 2014.

He also faces a charge of forgery for using royal initials without permission when he cast a batch of amulets in 2011, and has since been defrocked.

Mr Witthaya told the former monk via a telephone that Suthep Thaugsuban, the former PDRC leader, wanted to express his moral support.

Suwit replied that he sympathised with the regime.

“Please pass on my moral support to the government and NCPO as they proceed [with running the country],” he said.

“Let’s support the government to work for the sake of the country.”

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha denied being close to the former monk.

Read original story here.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Phuket Opinion: Recalibrating the retirement visa

I would bet most of the runners are tourists, not retirees....(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: Recalibrating the retirement visa

“Dr Nutthawut also plainly pointed out that the government is looking to unload the burden of foot...(Read More)


Phuket Marine Office to destroy abandoned Chinese fishing boats

A great idea I read here from BenPendejo! Removal of hazardous/polluting stuff, and sink them somewh...(Read More)


Baby Jumbo is dead

Total disregard for the animals in their care. Many abused drugged animals for ‘use’ by tourists...(Read More)


Cabinet approves mandatory health insurance for long-stay visas

So it is the pesky long stay foreigners cheating the hospitals. Go to private hospital and you have...(Read More)


Phuket elephant rides in the sea given all clear

These DLD guys are useless idiots. How many times have we heard about them visiting that horrible Zo...(Read More)


Phuket Marine Office to destroy abandoned Chinese fishing boats

Oh boy. Let's see how this turns out. I guess some locals decided they want a few parts. I'm...(Read More)


Baby Jumbo is dead

They created a "special area" for him to recover. The idiots didn't think that a mud h...(Read More)


Baby Jumbo is dead

Third World Country's like Thailand should not have the right to have a Zoo they don't unde...(Read More)


Phuket elephant rides in the sea given all clear

Do they understand that the tide moves in and out? That the elephants will be trampling different ar...(Read More)