Thailand seizes $800,000 from disgraced monk

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Wirapol SukpholThailand has seized nearly $800,000 worth of assets, including a Porsche and a Mercedes-Benz and dozens of other cars, from a monk who was disrobed for a controversial trip in a private jet, authorities said on September 20.

Thailand’s Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) said Wiraphon Sukphon was suspected of deceiving people to give him donations.

“Monks can receive donations and must use them for the benefit of the public, not for private use and their own personal comforts,” Police Colonel Seehanat Prayoonrat, secretary of the AMLO, was quoted as saying by AFP.

The disgraced cleric, who is believed to be abroad, is also being sought in Thailand on suspicion of having sex with an underage girl around a decade ago while he was a monk, and of fathering a child with her.

The assets seized include real estate as well as cars, a Harley-Davidson motorbike, a Vespa scooter and money in 14 bank accounts.

Wiraphon caused a scandal earlier this year in Buddhist-majority Thailand after footage emerged of him with two other monks travelling in a private jet, wearing sunglasses and carrying a Louis Vuitton luxury bag. He has since been investigated on suspicion of an array of offences including tax evasion, drug possession and money-laundering.

Thai monks have been hit by a series of scandals, with local media reporting cases of drug-taking, drinking, gambling and visiting prostitutes. He is suspected to be in Laos.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Thailand has seized nearly $800,000 worth of assets, including a Porsche and a Mercedes-Benz and dozens of other cars, from a monk who was disrobed for a controversial trip in a private jet, authorities said on September 20.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Wirapol SukpholThailand has seized nearly $800,000 worth of assets, including a Porsche and a Mercedes-Benz and dozens of other cars, from a monk who was disrobed for a controversial trip in a private jet, authorities said on September 20.

Thailand’s Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) said Wiraphon Sukphon was suspected of deceiving people to give him donations.

“Monks can receive donations and must use them for the benefit of the public, not for private use and their own personal comforts,” Police Colonel Seehanat Prayoonrat, secretary of the AMLO, was quoted as saying by AFP.

The disgraced cleric, who is believed to be abroad, is also being sought in Thailand on suspicion of having sex with an underage girl around a decade ago while he was a monk, and of fathering a child with her.

The assets seized include real estate as well as cars, a Harley-Davidson motorbike, a Vespa scooter and money in 14 bank accounts.

Wiraphon caused a scandal earlier this year in Buddhist-majority Thailand after footage emerged of him with two other monks travelling in a private jet, wearing sunglasses and carrying a Louis Vuitton luxury bag. He has since been investigated on suspicion of an array of offences including tax evasion, drug possession and money-laundering.

Thai monks have been hit by a series of scandals, with local media reporting cases of drug-taking, drinking, gambling and visiting prostitutes. He is suspected to be in Laos.

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