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Thai monk had 10 bank accounts with daily transactions of $645k

Publication Date : 03-07-2013

 

The Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) has found 10 bank accounts under the name of Luang Pu Nenkham, who calls himself the abbot of Si Sa Ket's "Wat Pa Khanti Dhamma" monastery, as well as records of transactions totalling up to 20 million baht (US$645,000) per day.

Suwanee Sawaengpol, AMLO deputy chief, yesterday pointed out that these bank accounts were being monitored for fraud and hence, any further transactions could result in the monk facing money-laundering charges.

Suwanee said investigation showed that more than 2 million baht moved from each of the accounts every day and, under law, the bank was required to notify AMLO of these transactions.

The agency is confident that it has enough evidence against the monk and his network of disciples and that they can be prosecuted under charges of violating the law and public fraud, she said.

AMLO officials will visit the monastery next week to gather witnesses and the agency will also seek approval for full asset investigation against the monk and his network from the Transaction Committee on July 17, she added.

Meanwhile Ubon Ratchathani's Wat Tai Phrachaoyai Ong Teu abbot Phra Rajathamkosol said the temple where Luang Pu Nenkham or Phra Weerapol Sukpol was ordained had set up a panel to look into the monk's activities and if he is found guilty of abusing his vows, he will be expelled.

In related news, the Si Sa Ket Buddhism Office reported that a fact-finding panel was set up to look into all allegations, including the monk's penchant for luxurious products and women, donations, building a Buddha image replica without permission as well as illegally building a monastery and its branches.

The committee had initially agreed to set up a disciplinary probe in which the monk, who still living abroad, would be required to testify in person.

 

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