Department of Special Investigation (DSI) chief Paisit Wongmuang said today (July 18) that Wirapol Sukphol, 38, formerly Nen Kham, had not filed an appeal after a California court approved his extradition.
A team of prosecutors and DSI officials were dispatched to the US to bring Wirapol back to Thailand. They were expected to arrive around 11pm tomorrow, said Col Paisit.
Upon arrival at Suvarnabhumi airport, Wirapol would be taken to the DSI for further questioning. He would be taken to court on Friday (July 21).
Although the suspect had the right to seek bail, the DSI would oppose it as he had a tendency to flee.
The National Office of Buddhism would be invited to jointly investigate the former monk, the DSI chief said.
Wirapol, whose monastic name was Luang Pu Nen Kham Chattiko, is wanted by the DSI on charges including money laundering, child abduction and raping a girl aged under 15.
He fled the country in 2013 and authorities applied for his extradition in 2016 following reports he was granted permanent residency in the US. He was arrested by US authorities in July last year.
Wirapol gained a reputation as the “jet-setting monk”, capturing people’s attention in 2013 following the release of video clips showing him travelling aboard a private jet as a monk. He carried a Louis Vuitton bag, wore brand-name sunglasses, flashed cash and was found to own more than 100 luxury cars and numerous large blocks of land.
As Nen Kham, he was abbot of Khantitham forest monastery in Kanthararom district of Si Sa Ket province.
He was expelled from the monkhood in absentia after fleeing, for inappropriate conduct including having sex, boasting of supernatural powers and having a high-flying lifestyle. The DSI earlier seized B380 million worth of his assets.
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