Winya Pluskwa, who heads the Phuket NOB office, told The Phuket News that he intends to inspect the goings on at the temple tomorrow morning (Nov 24).
The investigation follows complaints by Chulcherm Yukol filed to the Phuket NOB office as well as to Chalong Mayor Samran Jindapol and the Damrongtham Centre (Ombudsman’s Office) at Provincial Hall.
“I received the complaint from Mr Chulcherm. He had also filed complaints to the Mayor of Chalong, to the national Buddhism office, the Damrongtham Centre, and gained much attention through a post on social media,” Mr Winya said.
“Mr Chulcherm claims that the chapel within Ladthiwanaram Temple was built by Chinese businessmen on the temple grounds with the aim of attracting Chinese tourists,” Mr Winya explained.
According to Mr Chulcherm’s post on Tues (Nov 21) on his “Chulcherm Yugala” Facebook account, the chapel “especially takes in Chinese tours” and “allows them to receive blessings from a monk inside”.
The post also added that the chapel sells “fake gold that is four times as expensive, incense and candles for B50 a set, ice cream for B50 a stick, coconuts for B50 each…”
Mr Chulcherm concluded the post with, “There are at least three of this kind of operation in Phuket,” and signed off the post under the name “Chulcherm Yukol”.
Mr Winya told The Phuket News today, “I don’t know who the complainant is or his affiliations, but regardless, we must check all complaints filed.”
“Myself and other officials from the Buddhism office will go to check the complaints tomorrow, including the goods being sold and whether permission had been granted to be build the chapel,” Mr Winya said.