As many as 31 monks In the Ban Mo district of Saraburi province have been defrocked after testing positive for methamphetamine in urine tests. An official for the kingdom’s Buddghist clergy has confirmed that one of the heads of the monastery has been charged with drug trafficking following the positive testing of the monks. The monks who participate in drug rehabilitation programs and halt their drug use will be allowed to earn their monkhood back and remove their status of being disrobed.
Villagers reportedly complained about the suspicious gatherings in the templates on a frequent basis. According to local government officials, most of them were people who were involved with drugs or used them themselves. Thailand’s Buddhist clergy has been accused of a multitude of scandals, with local media trying to expose the drinking, gambling, drug consumption, visitation of prostitutes and other illegal actions these monks engage in. However, it was the real footage of three monks taking a trip in a private jet with expensive Louis Vuitton luxury gear, bags and sunglasses that sparked an outcry in the country.
According to the Justice Ministry’s Department of Special Investigation, Luang Pu Nen Kham, just one of the three monks identified in the video is also being investigated on suspicion of offenses ranging from money laundering and drug possession to tax evasion and sex with a minor. Luang Pu Nen Kham is reported to be out of the country at the moment with his exact location being a mystery. The Thai foreign ministry is being requested to revoke his passport by Buddhist authorities. Use of drugs among monks is highly frowned upon, as many say it can lead to “heedlessness” and disrupt the path to enlightenment.
This is not the first time monks have been busted or reported doing methamphetamine. In 2012 there were multiple accounts where monks were reported using and selling meth tablets. In one case a monk was arrested for selling meth out of his temple and two monks were busted attempting to toss out 20 meth tablets at a police checkpoint. When accused of these illegal actions, monks have gone as far as saying they needed the money to repair their temples, but that doesn’t make it any less illegal. According to the Thai-language Daily News, in 2012 seven monks were caught in the act of preparing for a drug party, which included the gathering of booze and meth.
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