DSI wants monk's status revoked

national July 10, 2013 00:00

By Piyanut Tumnukasetchai
The Na

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Tarit to file petition with supreme council, seeks to cancel passport

The Department of Special Investigation is pushing for the termination of Luang Pu Nenkham’s status as a monk and the cancellation of his passport.

“We will officially ask the Supreme Sangha Council and the National Office of Buddhism to do this,” DSI chief Tarit Pengdith said yesterday.

He was speaking after his agency decided to take over the case against Luang Pu Nenkham, abbot of Wat Pa Khanti Dhamma in Si Sa Ket.

The controversial monk has remained in France since the scandal involving him emerged last month.

Tarit said the cancellation of Luang Pu Nenkham’s passport would mean the French authorities would have to deport him.

He will also write to Supreme Sangha Council secretary Nopparat Benjawatananun, who is also head of the National Office of Buddhism, requesting the termination of Luang Pu Nenkham’s status as a monk.

Nopparat said the process to terminating his monastic status could be completed within two days.

“The National Office of Buddhism will also be asked to contact the Foreign Ministry to arrange the revocation of his passport,” Tarit added.

The DSI chief said Luang Pu Nenkham would face legal action for eight alleged offences, including the spread of false information in a way that caused damage to the public and having a sexual relationship with a minor.

“He has clearly violated Article 14 of the Computer Crime Act by claiming to have met Indra, and that the god had instructed him to build a big Emerald Buddha,” Tarit said, referring to the online assertion by the monk that has attracted donations for the casting of the statue.

On the monk’s alleged sexual relationship with a girl, he said the DSI and other officials would today conduct DNA tests on an 11-year-old boy whose mother claims Luang Pu Nenkham is his father, as well as the controversial monk’s parents.

“We should have the DNA test results within 24 hours.”

He said that DSI would also investigate Luang Pu Nenkham’s alleged involvement in drug trafficking, money laundering and the ownership of vehicles linked to tax-evasion scams.

Tarit said his department would ask the Anti-Money Laundering Office to freeze the monk’s assets, including his bank accounts.

Meanwhile, the Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) received evidence yesterday that Luang Pu Nenkham had often travelled to the town of Mae Sot, on the border with Myanmar. “We will investigate to see if he is also involved in drug trafficking,” ONCB chief Pol General Pongsapat Pongcharoen said.

In related news, Ubon Ratchathani’s Wat Tai Phrachao Yai Ong Teu abbot Phra Raja Thammakosol said the temple would give Luang Pu Nenkham until Friday to give himself in or else it will cut him off from its supervision. The Centre for Monks and Novices’ Travel Aboard Control also said they would check the monk’s itinerary and if the monk does not return as scheduled or does something to tarnish the Thai Supreme Sangha Council, the centre would block him from ever leaving the country again.


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