Police to set a deadline for Dhammachayo to turn himself in

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Police will give Phra Dhammachayo until the end of this month to turn himself in to answer the charge of forest encroachment otherwise the police will proceed with the case to the public prosecutors for indicting the monk, Pol Gen Srivara Rangseepromnakul, the national deputy police chief, announced on Thursday.

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Earlier, the Seekhiew provincial court issued a warrant for the arrest of the embattled abbot of Wat Dhammakaya in Pathum Thani for alleged forest encroachment over the construction of the World Peace Valley religious centre in Khao Yai, Pak Chong district of Nakhon Ratchasima.

Pol Gen Srivara said that police had coordinated with the chief monk of Pathum Thani and people close to Phra Dhammachayo to try to convince the monk to turn himself in to answer the forest encroachment charge. He added that the police would give the monk until the end of this month to surrender otherwise the police would proceed with the case to the Office of Attorney General in the same way that the Department of Special of Investigation in the handling of the money laundering and receiving stolen valuable charges against the embattled monk.

Meanwhile, the police are investigating to determine whether Phra Dhammachayo is still in Wat Dhammakaya or not. If he is still there, the police will seek a search warrant from the court for a search of the temple to try to locate him.

Pol Gen Srivara warned followers of Phra Dhammachayo not to resist or obstruct the police from doing their job to locate or to arrest the monk, otherwise they will be strictly dealt with in accordance with the law.

Police believe that Dhammachayo will, in the end, surrender to enter the judicial process.