Deeper probe into temple corruption discovers new type of corruption

The Counter Corruption Division (CCD) police have detected another unethical conduct of state officials entrusted with position of authority in monastic affairs after they conducted deeper investigation into corruption of state subsidies for temples across the country.

CCD investigators discovered the new type of dishonest and unethical conduct by the same gang as they expanded probe into a further 20 temples throughout the country.

The new type of corruption involved funds set aside for the promotion of Buddhism as well as funds for promotion of Buddhism education.

CCD commander Pol Maj Gen Kamol Rienracha said monastic subsidies set aside for Buddhist temples all over the country in 2016 amounted to 4.671 billion baht.

He said investigators have now uncovered that the corruption involved not only the 12 initial temples but were widespread and involved many other temples all over the country.

He confirmed that the investigation was being handled in a deliberate and professional manner and had found that in most cases abbots and monks were the unwitting victims taken advantage by corrupt state officials entrusted with position of authority in monastic affairs.

This however does not exclude the possibility that some monks may actually be complicit in the corruption and if any monk is found to have played a part in the misappropriation of funds then immediate action will be taken, he said.

He went on saying that investigators were finding more and more suspects connected to the case.

The suspects arrested earlier have already had charges filed and would be prosecuted, he said.

He said the next move would be focused on a further 20 temples all over the country excluding those in the 5 southern provinces.

He said in most case investigators have found that monks have been used as tools by corrupt officials from the National Office of Buddhism.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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