Thai ‘ghostbuster’ monk, illegal Cambodian cleric arrested in Pattaya

The illegal Cambodian cleric living in the Thai jungle was arrested and sent to Chonburi immigration for deportation.

A Cambodian monk was arrested while a “ghostbuster” Thai colleague was banned from casting spells in Pattaya.

Nongprue police detained Suparb Thammakamo, 59, and the unidentified Cambodian in the woods along the railway-parallel road on the Sattahip border Feb. 8 following complaints from locals about monks in dirty robes hanging out in the jungle.

Police brought the two clerics to Sarawith Thitapanyo, abbot of Huay Yai Temple and the Nongprue Subdistrict dean of monks, who checked their ordination papers. Both were found to be legitimate monks.

The Cambodian, however, could not produce a legal visa or paperwork allowing him to be in the country. He was arrested and transferred to the Chonburi Immigration Office for deportation.

Police interrogate the Cambodian cleric and the Thai ‘ghostbuster’ monk who said that he had lived in the jungle for more than 10 years.

Suparb told the dean that he has lived in the wild for a decade, but is still registered at Weerarachbamrung Temple in Loei Province.

He had returned to Loei during the Lunar New Year and returned to his shed in Pattaya to continue performing sacred bathing rites to ward off bad luck and exorcise ghosts using dark arts and black magic, he admitted.

Such rituals earned him the nickname of “Ghostbuster”, he told Sarawith.

The dean ordered Suparb to return to his temple and forbade him to perform any more ceremonies, rituals or incantations. If he violates those orders, he will be defrocked.

Police escort the two jungle monks out of the wilds, one will be deported and the other sent back to his temple in Loei.


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