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Temple heads want agency to apologise

BANGKOK: Wat Pak Nam Phasi Charoen has threatened to sue the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) unless the agency apologises to its abbot and assistant abbot for tarnishing their reputations over their alleged involvement in a car tax evasion scandal.

crime, police, religion,


Bangkok Post

Thursday 15 June 2017, 09:47AM


The dispute goes back to January, 2016, when DSI investigators discovered numerous luxury cars with connections to Wat Pak Nam Phasi Charoen. Photo: Bangkok Post
The dispute goes back to January, 2016, when DSI investigators discovered numerous luxury cars with connections to Wat Pak Nam Phasi Charoen. Photo: Bangkok Post

Surapong Sitthikorn, a lawyer representing Phra Maha Sasanamunee, the temple’s assistant abbot, told reporters that the temple committee had agreed at a meeting that the DSI must step up, show some responsibility and come clean about the matter.

The issue has tarnished the reputation of the temple, its abbot Somdet Phra Maha Ratchamangalacharn, also known as Somdet Chuang, and the assistant abbot, Mr Surapong said.

The DSI has been given 15 days as of June 10 to do so, Mr Surapong said, according to a TNN 24 channel report.

If the agency fails to act within the given deadline, the temple will file criminal and civil lawsuits against it, the lawyer said.

His remark came after prosecutors decided on Jan 12 to drop charges against Phra Maha Sasanamunee – also Somdet Chuang’s private secretary – over his alleged involvement in the car tax evasion scam.

Prosecutors decided to drop the charges against the monk because of a lack of evidence and also terminated the case on the grounds that the statute of limitations had already expired.

British International School, Phuket

The DSI investigated Somdet Chuang for alleged tax evasion with regards to his Mercedes-Benz, which has the licence plate number Khor Mor 99 Bangkok.

Based on the DSI’s findings, the luxury car was found to have been purchased for B4 million, but an excise tax bill of B1.6mn has still not been paid. The import papers were allegedly falsified to dodge taxes.

However, the prosecutors proceeded to indict three others allegedly involved in the import process – Pichai Veerasitthikul, Wasu Jittipattanakulchai and Kasemsak Pawangkhanant.

According to media reports, temple followers continued to visit and make merit at Wat Pak Nam Phasi Charoen on the Thon Buri side of the Chao Phraya River.

DSI deputy director-general Korawat Panpraphakorn insisted the DSI conducted the case honestly based on evidence. He said it is the temple’s right to complain.

Read original story here.

 

 

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Kurt | 16 June 2017 - 10:36:56

The monks should count their blessing and be glad to get away so easily, and remain quiet.
Oh, every time I see these ultra expensive car photos I try to match that with the thai Buddhist monkhood.
But it is still a puzzle to me.

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