Bangkok – Former Abbot of Wat Sa Ket Raja Wora Mahawiharn, Phra Phrom Sitti, has submitted to police investigators after they last week found he had 132 million baht in personal savings and over 87 million baht in circulation through a raid on the temple that tied him to suspicions of corruption.
Authorities questioned the former abbot for close on three hours on Thursday before Crime Suppression Division Commander Pol Maj Gen Maitree Chimcherd escorted him to the Central Criminal Court for an initial 12 day detainment period, during which police are to question another 20 witnesses as to the monk’s finances. The clergyman has been denied release on bail for the time being as he is in possession of a large quantity of pertinent financial information and is believed to be part of a network of wrongdoers who face severe punishment. He has been detained at Bangkok Remand Prison for the time being but his lawyers have prepared a second bail request.
The National Buddhism Office has indicated to the court that while Phra Phrom Sitti has maintained his monkhood, according to the Monk Act of 1962, authorities have the right to strip him of his ordainment.
Police are still in pursuit of another high ranking monk linked to the temple fund corruption case, Phra Phrom Methi.