Police demand cooperation from new temple abbot

PATHUM THANI: Police yesterday (Dec 18) demanded cooperation from the abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya – or anyone in charge of the temple – to hand over former abbot Phra Dhammajayo to authorities within seven days.

By Bangkok Post

Monday 19 December 2016, 09:02AM

The new abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya has been officially warned to turn over sect founder Dhammakaya by Christmas Day. Photo: Post Today

The new abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya has been officially warned to turn over sect founder Dhammakaya by Christmas Day. Photo: Post Today

The monk is wanted on charges of money-laundering and receiving stolen property in connection with the multi-billion-baht Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative embezzlement scandal, and alleged forest encroachment by the temple’s meditation facilities in the provinces of Nakhon Ratchasima and Loei.

The move came two days after four warrants approved by the court for the authorities to search the temple and detain the monk from Tuesday (Dec 13) expired without any action taken.

The same letter also requested the temple turn over Ong-art Thamnitha, the spokesman for Dhammakaya sect disciples, to authorities. On Thursday (Dec 15), the Criminal Court approved a police request for a warrant to arrest Mr Ong-art on a charge of inciting public unrest in violation of Section 116 of the criminal code.

The temple abbot was warned in the letter that if Phra Dhammajayo is no longer is at the temple, it is the responsibility of the current abbot to inform police. If the former abbot still is there, however, he must be handed over to police.

If the abbot fails to respond to this request, he could be found guilty of violating Section 157 of the criminal code for dereliction of duty and Section 187 for providing assistance to or helping a suspect to hide from the authorities, the letter said.

By violating Section 157, the offender may face a jail sentence of one to 10 years, a fine of between B2,000 and B20,000, or both, according to the letter.

And, by breaching Section 187, the offender may face a maximum prison sentence of two years, a maximum fine of B4,000, or both. Another copy of the same letter was seen posted near the temple gate.

Thailand Property Awards - Asia Property Awards

Police handed a letter requesting cooperation to temple staff, and posted a huge copy of letter at Gate 7 of the temple compound, opposite Klong Luang police station. At Gates 5 and 6 where temple followers used to sit together praying and blocking entry to the temple, not a single person was seen there yesterday. There was no sign of praying temple followers at Gate 1 either. This was seen as an indication of tensions easing.

Tensions had built up at the temple over the past week following media reports that police planned to raid the temple and detain Phra Dhammajayo.

Meanwhile, Phra Sanitwong Wuttiwangso, the director of the temple’s organisational communication office, posted on his Facebook page criticism of the police for putting up 17 vinyl banners around the temple declaring that the 3-metre high wall was built without permission.

Posted on the monk’s Facebook page were some photos of novices holding a bowl standing behind a metal gate seized by police while some followers were waiting on the other side of the gate to offer alms to the novices.

The pictures were posted along with messages: “So how would these novices be able to collect alms?” and “Obstructing religious functions is illegal.” The posts have sparked heated debate online.

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

Kurt | 28 December 2016 - 10:45:57

The new sect abbot of Dhammakaya yesterday ( 27 dec) refused cooperation. 
He puts police demands aside.
This new abbot too, must have very high connections.
According B-P there were 600 police officers deployed around the sect temple complex, + 7 drones. 
But not to arrest the fugitive monk. Just a exercise?
Now it is waiting for what de Prime Minister called "the right time to arrest&q...

Have a news tip-off? Click here


Phuket community
Fast & Furious 9 to take on Phuket roads

A governor plays the trumpet about very temporarily 'backround employment' during a movie sh...(Read More)

Government discloses Senate selectors

The Junta said 'thanks' to the Senate selectors for their service to the Junta, and rewarded...(Read More)

Phuket Opinion: Bitter pill

Yeah, Bangkok Phuket has been exorbitant for years, and since Silirot was taken over by them its pri...(Read More)

Phuket Opinion: Bitter pill

Bangkok Hospital tried to charge me 2,700 baht for a 30 day supply of meds. They finally gave me the...(Read More)

Phuket Opinion: Bitter pill

now I only go the Bumrungrad, hospitals in Phuket cannot be trusted, patients are just cash cows to...(Read More)

Phuket Opinion: Bitter pill

After being given a false diagnosis for recurrent cancer based on suspect blood results, I had CT sc...(Read More)

Lottery office offers cash to nab dodgy vendors

Lottery Vendors,... the law is the law. When you have to pay yourself already 85 B for a ticket, you...(Read More)

Dengue fever epidemic declared

Finally! When Thai Government admits that there is a Dengue/Chikungunya Epidemic it is really saying...(Read More)

Police hunt for ’power cards’ agents

Were the cards not sold with illness curing guarantee? Hahaha....(Read More)

Thanathorn in Phuket hears local fishermen’s woes, critical island issues

Mr Thanatorn may also look into the matter that many thai fishing boats now sail under Myanmar Flag ...(Read More)