DSI to seek extradition of ex-monk

national July 21, 2013 00:00

By Piyanut Tumnukasetchai
The Su

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The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) will contact immigration authorities in 20 countries to seek the extradition of former monk Wirapol Sukpol - known as Luang Pu Nenkham - back to Thailand to face criminal charges, including statutory rape of a

With the Foreign Affairs Ministry revoking Wirapol’s passport last Friday, Tarit said DSI Foreign Affairs and Trans-national Crime Bureau director Pol Colonel Songsak Raksaksakul would this week submit a letter seeking cooperation from immigration authorities overseas, particularly the United States, where the ex-monk is believed to be lying low. 
Songsak said he would ask the US and European countries for help to locate Wirapol and send them copies of a warrant for the arrest of the ex-monk. He was confident of getting cooperation because Wirapol was wanted for at least three criminal charges – committing public fraud by publishing faulty information on the Net to raise donations, statutory rape of a minor, and taking a minor away from her parents/guardian. 
Songsak said the case was different from that involving Winai La-ongsuwan, the former Phra Yantra, who was defrocked after claims he had sex with female followers and fled to the US. Winai at the time had not committed crimes that were universally liable for prosecution. 
Meanwhile, Pol Lt-Colonel Kornwat Panprapakorn, chief DSI investigator for the Northeast, yesterday reported progress in the probe into Wirapol’s cars. 
He said the owner of a Mercedes Benz Maybach car, which Wirapol reportedly bought and used for a while before selling it back to the owner because he claimed he couldn’t pay instalments, would testify to DSI investigators on July 24. Kornwat said the alleged action of buying a car just to resell it to the owner and then buy more new cars, sometimes up to six cars at a time, was suspicious. He said DSI would get information from car dealers in Ubon Ratchathani to further investigate such suspicious action.
In further news, Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) officials yesterday searched a car accessory shop in Ubon’s Muang district, which reportedly supplied 35 cars to Wirapol and allegedly had transactions worth Bt30 million with the former monk. 
AMLO also seized 17 vehicles held by shop owner Suparat Wiriyapong and urged him to show legal ownership documents. 
In the afternoon the AMLO team went to Wat Pa Santitham in Kantharapirom district, where Wirapol was previously located. They then visited houses belonging to Wirapol’s relatives’ and seized 59 items, thought to be assets that were illegally obtained. 
Some 15 monks and novices previously at Wat Pa Santitham have also left and reported to their supervising temples.