The planned joint operation between the police and the Department of Special Investigation officials to search Wat Dhammakaya this week appears to have hit the snag as forensic police are not ready for the operation.
Asked by a reporter at a press conference about whether the search will be conducted this week or not, Pol Gen Srivara Rangseepromnakul, the deputy national police chief said that it would depend on the timing and the opportunity and on DSI chief Pol Col Paisit Wongmuang.
He disclosed that all parties concerned, including the police and the DSI, were ready for the search mission except forensic police. He said that if all except forensic police launched the search probe and forensic officials were not available to collect evidences, how could he explain to the court if another search warrant would be required and, this time, with forensic police joining the search.
The deputy national police chief insisted that even if the search was to be postponed, it would have no effect on the court case.
Meanwhile, it was reported that the court had issued a warrant for the search of the temple to look for Phra Dhammachayo as requested by the DSI.
Personally, Pol Gen Srivara stressed that he disagreed with searching the temple for the time being because the raiding party would have to exercise great caution as there are many people inside the temple.
Without the presence of forensic police in the search, the mission is bound to be a flop, said the deputy national police chief.
There are at least 3-4 arrest warrants pending against Phra Dhammachayo who is wanted on charges of money laundering, conspiracy to launder ill-gotten wealth and forest encroachment.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)