Pattaya temples face inspections following fraud complaints

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District Chief Naris Niramaiwong (right) addresses police, military, Revenue Office and Office of Buddhism officials about launching random inspections of Pattaya-area temples following complaints about price gouging for amulets.
District Chief Naris Niramaiwong (right) addresses police, military, Revenue Office and Office of Buddhism officials about launching random inspections of Pattaya-area temples following complaints about price gouging for amulets.

Local and Buddhism authorities have launched random inspections of Pattaya-area temples following complaints about price gouging for amulets.

District Chief Naris Nira­maiwong said police, military, Revenue Office and Office of Buddhism officials began checking temples Feb. 1 and will continue to do so at random intervals.

The crackdown comes following complaints that vendors at some Pattaya temples were overcharging for amulets and not clearly explaining the object’s history, including whether it had been blessed or not. Complainants called the practice fraud.

The National Office of Buddhism’s Chonburi branch issued an order barring any sales inside a temple’s main hall and said it would work with police stations and the Chonburi Cultural Office to set up designated areas for vendors at each temple.

Authorities will check the authenticity of amulets and other icons being sold as well as rental contracts with each stall or shop to ensure everyone is paying the correct taxes.