Monks moved out as search goes on for Wirapol

national July 22, 2013 00:00

By The Nation

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The provincial monastic office in Si Sa Ket is checking whether property at Wat Pa Khanti Tham - founded by Wirapol Sukpol - has been moved away unlawfully, after it ordered that resident monks could not stay at the temple during the three-month Buddhist

The monks, disciples of Wirapol when he was known as Luang Pu Nenkham, have been invited to stay during the holiday at Wat Pa Sri Samran or other temples, said Phra Khru Thammathorn Khamkai, secretary to the Si Sa Ket monastic chief. 
Originally there were 25 disciples at the temple but there are only six now. The office is deciding what to do with this group, some of whom insisted on staying at the temple during the holiday. Other temples could be chosen for them to live in during the three-month period, said the monk.
A source said the property may have been moved from Wat Pa Khanti Tham 
 at the order of Wirapol to hide it from the coming inspection by the Department of Special Investigation and the Anti Money-Laundering Office. A number of people who still have faith in Wirapol have also collected his statuettes or images.
A senior DSI agent, Phong-in Intharakhao, said Wirapol was likely to be still in the US. If not, he may be at other locations including Europe, as speculated publicly by DSI director-general Tarit Pengdith.
He said a lead that Wirapol donated a bus to the Thai Red Cross Society was being probed, as well as another lead about a house being built in Ubon Ratchathani for a woman said to be a mistress of the former monk.
Tarit said he was awaiting a decision by US authorities to revoke Wirapol’s visa after the Foreign Minister cancelled his passport last Friday. The DSI, which took over the Wirapol case from police, has not decided on how to apprehend the former monk if or when his visa is revoked by the US, he added.