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Appeal Court upholds 20-year corruption sentence against former Buddhism chief

Maya Taylor



PHOTO: Nation Thailand

The former head of the National Office of Buddhism has had his appeal against a 20-year sentence in a corruption case rejected by the Appeal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases. Phanom Sornsilp is currently serving a total of 94 years for the misappropriation of temple funds in multiple cases brought against him.

The court also upheld the 20-year sentence handed down to his accomplice, the former director of the Office of Temple Renovation and Development and Religious Welfare, Wasawat Kittithirasith.

Lesser sentences being served by 2 other accomplices were also upheld. Jetsada Wongmek is currently serving 6 years and 8 months for his role in the embezzlement, while Charin Mingkwan is serving 20 months. Phanom and Jetsada were ordered to repay a total of 12 million baht to the National Office of Buddhism, with Wasawat and Charin ordered to repay 3 million baht.

Phanom was arrested, charged and sentenced after it was revealed that he and his accomplices were arranging substantial funds for temple renovations on condition that 75% of the funds be returned to them under the table. Money was handed out, not just for repairs and renovations, but supposedly to cover attendance at study courses and religious festivals. When abbots at the beneficiary temples returned the bulk of the money to Phanom and his co-conspirators, they kept the funds for themselves.

In May of this year, the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct also found Phanom guilty of embezzling an estimated 50 million baht that had been earmarked for temples in the central province of Nonthaburi, during 2013 and 2014. He was sentenced to a further 52 years, taking the total time behind bars to 94 years.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 11:57 am

    You cannot even trust monks to keep their scamming urges under control.
    Cheating and scamming seems to be a natural instinct of a Thai.

    • Avatar


      Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 1:32 pm

      Then you haven’t been to Bali yet

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    Is it bad there?
    I have been to Morocco and Mexico. They were bad, but the Thais are the worst I have ever seen.
    Thais were weeping in the streets when the seven/e, and Family Marts opened up.
    THEY put Prices on things!!

  3. Avatar


    Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 10:14 pm

    Little bit like an Elvis Presley song about, ‘a poor Hawaiian beach boy, only 30 days and 99 years to go..” With a bit of luck he might get a king’s pardon. It’s only money after all.

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A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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