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Ex high ranking Buddhist officials convicted of embezzling millions

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: thaipost.net

5 former National Office of Buddhism officials, including a former chief, have been found guilty of stealing 21 million baht from the organisation back in 2015. The Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases convicted the 5 of embezzlement and sentenced them to prison. They are also required to repay 21 million baht to the NOB.

The convicted were identified as…

• 61 year old Phanom Sonsilp, a former director of the NOB

• Bunloet Sopha, aged 54, a former official at the Lampang Buddhism office

• 51 year old Phonphen Kittitharangkun and 54 year old Kaeo Chittakhop, former academics with the NOB’s division for Buddhism studies;

• Phatthana Su-ammatmontri, aged 50, a former academic with the NOB’s Buddhism promotion division.

Phanom, Bunloet, Phonphen and Kaeo were given 13 years and 4 months in prison for embezzlement, while Phatthana was given 4 years for helping them. The court ordered all 5 to jointly return 21 million baht to the NOB.

Meanwhile, the court handed suspended sentences to 2 former monks found guilty of 6 counts of money laundering at the Wat Sa Ket temple in Bangkok. They were identified as Methi Sutthikon and Wichit Thammaphon, former assistant abbots at the temple. The court found the duo guilty of approving a 14.2 million baht in cash transfers from the temple’s account from March to December in 2015.

They were handed 8 years in prison but their sentences were suspended.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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