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Police to handle religious probe

May 30. 2018
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By The Nation

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The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has decided to let the police handle corruption cases against senior monks.

“Police have already started action against some suspects. So the NACC has resolved that the police should go ahead with the case to ensure continuous, fast flow of work and efficiency,” NACC secretary-general Warawit Sukboon said on Wednesday. 

He said the NACC would officially inform National Police Commissioner Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda of its resolution. 

Senior monks, including Sa Ket Temple's abbot Phra Phromsitti (Thongchai Sukhayano) and Samphanthawongsaram Temple abbot Phra Phrommedhi (Chamnong Dhammajari), have already lost all their monastic status in the wake of the police action. 

Phra Phromsitti, who surrendered on Wednesday morning, was defrocked too. 

Also implicated in the cases are two former directors of the National Buddhism Office (NBO), Phanom Sornsilp and Nopparat Benjawatananan.

The NACC will meet on Wednesday to discuss the third batch of temple-related corruption cases. 

NACC secretary-general Warawit Sukboon revealed on Tuesday that fellow anti-graft commissioner Surasak Keereevichien, who chairs a subcommittee investigating the cases, had presented the matter as an urgent priority. 

Warawit declined to comment on whether the NACC would also be discussing the corruption cases involving senior monks, such as Thongchai and Chamnong. 

The two senior monks were dismissed from the Sangha Supreme Council last Thursday over allegations that they embezzled state funds for temples and promotions.

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