2 fake monks make up to 40k baht per day scamming villagers in northern Thailand

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Police arrested two men dressed up in orange robes at a market in Tak province, northern Thailand, yesterday morning. The “monks” were walking around the market asking for donations from merchants and customers. Locals said the pair have been at it for years.

At 9am, officers from Wang Chao Police Station received a call that “monks” were walking around a market in the Chiang Thong subdistrict and asking for money. According to the monastic code, monks are not allowed to ask for donations or personally own money, so police went to investigate.

The police found the two “monks” standing with a group of women who ran off when the police arrived. Police put the “monks” in the back of their pickup truck and took them to Wang Chao Police Station for questioning.

The police asked to see the two men’s ID cards, but they didn’t have any. They had only a “certificate” from Wat Chamthong Wararam in Phitsanulok province which said they were allowed to collect donations. However, when police called the phone number on the “certificate,” the line was disconnected.

Police interrogated the two men, 38 year old Chawalit Weerachat and 38 year old Pricha Samransuk, who admitted they had not been ordained as monks. The pair admitted making their way around markets in northern Thailand – going from village to village – making between 10,000 to 40,000 baht per day in “donations.” The men admitted they have been doing it for years and have never been caught.

A fruit seller named Boonpeng told police that the “monks” had visited the market he works at every few weeks for many years. Boonpeng said they go around asking for donations between 20 to 100 baht, but Boonpeng has always been suspicious of them, so he doesn’t give them money. He said the “monks” come with two or three women who also ask for donations.

Boonpeng said the merchants realised the “monks” were probably fake and don’t give them donations, but customers walking around the market often do give them money. Boonpeng said that he and other merchants were happy that the police had arrested the two men as they will no longer be able to deceive locals. It’s not clear why no one reported the men until now.

Chawalit and Pricha will be prosecuted according to the law.


Crime News


Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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