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Monk defrocked and arrested after allegedly shooting man in the testicles

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

A monk at Wat Mongkhol Nimit in Samut Prakan, just south of Bangkok, has been defrocked and arrested for shooting another man who was living at the same temple. Police arrested 46 year old Phra Apiram Ruengthip at his living quarters on Friday evening. The former monk claims he only shot in self-defense.

Police say they seized an unregistered handgun with two bullets from the monk. He had hidden the pistol in a black plastic bag containing empty plastic bottles. Police then took Ruengthip to meet the abbot so he could be defrocked before being taken to the police station. Under Thai law, a Buddhist monk can be questioned but not jailed until he is first defrocked.

The arrest follows the attack on a man, identified as 42 year old Samret Kasemrat, who lived in the temple. According to police Samret was shot in the right testicle and was rushed to hospital.

Ruengthip told police he had been in the monkhood for 4 or 5 years. In recent months, belongings at the temple have often been stolen, so he bought a pistol and patrolled around the temple at night. He claims that on the night, while patrolling behind the temple, he saw Samret walking around the area. Samret allegedly scolded him rudely and began walking toward him. He says the man was carrying something in one of his hands.

The former monk said he told Samret to stop, but he ignored him. This prompted him to fire a warning shot. However, Samret continued approaching him, forcing him to fire shots in self-defense, claiming he did not know where the bullet hit. After the shooting, he returned to his room.

Monk defrocked and arrested after allegedly shooting man in the testicles | News by Thaiger

Police are pressing charges of attempted murder and illegal possession of a firearm. He is being held at the police station pending further legal action. According to the Bangkok Post, crimes involving guns have become a growing problem in Thailand.

It’s estimated the number of unregistered guns in the kingdom at around 4 million, with another 6 million registered legally.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

 

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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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