Imposter monk scams temples, steals over 20 robes worth 20,000 baht

Picture courtesy of ที่นี่สมุทรสงคราม Facebook

A man disguised as a monk stole over 20 Buddhist monks’ robes worth 20,000 baht from Chong Lom temple in Samut Sakhon province yesterday. The imposter claimed to be the abbot of the temple and loaded the stolen items into a white Isuzu D-Max pick-up truck with Bangkok registration, as captured on CCTV.

Yesterday, a man dressed as a monk entered the Chong Lom temple, claiming to be the abbot of the temple. He then proceeded to steal over 20 sets of Buddhist monks’ robes, worth approximately 20,000 baht. The theft occurred at around 1.41pm, and was recorded on CCTV, with footage showing the thief driving a white Isuzu D-Max pick-up truck with registration number 3 ชฎ 2050 Bangkok.

The unidentified man, dressed in orange robes and a yellow sash, approached Monk Bhisittasun, a monk at Wat Chong Lom, who was arranging the robes for an upcoming ordination ceremony on July 9. The imposter made small talk with Monk Bhisit before taking his disciple to load the stolen robes into his truck, making a total of three rounds. The man left the temple grounds by 1.54pm.

Monk Bhisit revealed that the imposter claimed to be from Talom temple in Bangkok, and that he needed the robes for a religious event on June 11 involving 100 invited monks from across the country. He also claimed to be a disciple of the Chong Lom temple abbot. When Monk Bhisit called the abbot to confirm the man’s identity, the abbot was conducting a sermon and did not answer the phone. Monk Bhisit then refused to give the robes, but the imposter left and returned claiming he had informed the abbot.

The thief also claimed to have visited another monk at Chulamanee temple but learned he was not present, and said he would visit provincial temples for more robes. Upon consulting the abbot and other local temples, it was discovered that similar incidents had occurred. The temple has since posted CCTV footage on Facebook to alert the public and other temples to be cautious of similar scams.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.