Police of the Counter Corruption Division searched WatThurian in NakhonNayok province as they suspected its abbot together with a former director of the National Office of Buddhism of stealing about 100 million baht from the office’s fund for the improvement of 12 Buddhist temples in NakhonNayok and PrachinBuri from 2011 to 2016.
The abbot, PhraSitthiworanayok aka Chao Khun Jack, denied the suspected theft. However, police insisted they had evidence and witnesses to prove that he and NopparatBenjawatananun, former director of the National Office of Buddhism, spent 18 million baht from the stolen money on buying a land plot cover about 10 rai in NakhonNayok and many other assets. They had their family members register as the owners of the assets and were thus also suspected of laundering money.
Pol Lt Gen JirabhopBhuridej, commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau, said three officials of the National Office of Buddhism had conspired with the abbot and were hiding in the United States. Police were seeking their extradition, the commissioner said. (TNA)