A Royal Command was issued by His Majesty the King on Sunday stripping Phra Dhammachayo of his title as Phrathep Yarnmahamunee effective as of March 4.
The Royal Command which was published in the Royal Gazette on Sunday March 5 and counter-signed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha cited that the former abbot of Wat Dhammakaya was charged with money laundering, acceptance of stolen valuables and several other criminal charges.
Also warrants have been issued for his arrest and he has escaped.
When asked about the Royal Command stripping Dhammajayo of his Royal title, several followers who have kept vigil at the temple said they would not care less because the elusive monk still remains their mentor.
Officials of the Department of Special Investigation, police and military personnel have been blocking the entrances and exits of Wat Dhammakaya in Klong Luang district of Pathum Thani for about two weeks now in their efforts to look for the elusive monks who is believed to be still hiding somewhere in the sprawling 2,000 rai temple ground.
Attempt to search the temple to look for Dhammachayo has been blocked by human shield of monks and lay followers.