The source said Gen Chakthip boarded a Thai Airways flight to Paris on Sunday (June 10) to seek help from the international police organisation.
He was then scheduled to travel to Frankfurt to talk with authorities there about bringing the former assistant abbot of Wat Samphanthawong home to stand trial, the source added.
This would be Gen Chakthi’s second trip to Germany. He also flew there earlier this month shortly after he was informed that the former monk had left Thailand via Laos bound for Frankfurt.
The former assistant abbot, whose lay name is Chamnong Iamintra, is staying in Germany after he submitted an asylum application to immigration officials immediately upon disembarking at Frankfurt airport.
Gen Chakthip is scheduled to fly back to Bangkok on Saturday (June 16).
Chamnong is one of seven former senior monks from three prominent temples – Wat Sa Ket, Wat Samphanthawong and Wat Sam Phraya – who were charged with temple fund embezzlement and money laundering.
Five were arrested on May 24. One turned himself in to police while the man formerly known as Phra Phrom Methee remains at large.
They were all subject to the third round of an ongoing investigation into the temple fund scandal.
In a related development, the police Counter-Corruption Division (CCD) is probing the alleged embezzlement of funds intended for a school linked to Wat That, a royal monastery in Khon Kaen province. This is part of the fourth phase of the probe.
A CCD team visited Wat That yesterday morning and asked senior monks there for details about the suspected embezzlement of B18 million the temple received from the National Office of Buddhism (NOB) in 2013, an informed source said.
The money was intended for Wiwekkathamprasitwitthaya, a Pariyattitham dhamma school inside the temple, said the source.
A highly placed source said the money was transferred to a bank account belonging to Wat That before it was forwarded to one of the school’s accounts by the then-director of the NOB’s Buddhism studies division.
The former director split the transaction into three transfers of B3mn, B5mn and B10mn, the source said.
But some time after the B18mn entered the school-held bank account, the same ex-director requested the school return B17mn to him and ordered that only B1mn be left with the school, the source added.
The temple’s employees and residents are being treated as witnesses not suspects, the source said.
In another development, the Department of Special Investigation handed over Pisitchai Sawangwatanakorn from its taxation crime bureau to the Crime Suppression Division yesterday afternoon.
An investigation is being carried out into a Facebook post he made containing false information about the investigation into the temple funds scandal.
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